clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2021 NBA All-Star Game recap: Team LeBron coasts to win over Team Durant

It was an eventful All-Star Sunday in Atlanta. We followed all the action and you can find a full recap of the night here.

LeBron James of the LA Lakers and Team LeBron reacts as they take on Team Giannis in the fourth quarter during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Team LeBron won 178-164. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game has arrived and all the best in the League have descended upon Atlanta for the weekend festivities. Unlike past years, this year the NBA has condensed all of the events into one jam-packed Sunday evening. Coverage of the events will begin at 5:00 p.m. ET on TNT.

First up we have the Skills Challenge, which once again will feature more big men than pure guards. Almost all of the contestants in the Skills Challenge are All-Stars with the exception of Portland Trail Blazers F Robert Covington. Next, is the 3-Point Contest, which will feature all All-Stars. Plus, the Slam Dunk contest, which will take place during halftime of the All-Star Game. Below you can find the recap for the All-Star Game as well as recaps for each of the other contests on Sunday:

Here we’ll be tracking all the action, providing analysis, live updates and highlights from all the contests and the 2021 All-Star Game.

2021 NBA All-Star Weekend Live Updates

MVP Update — Giannis is in fact your 2021 NBA All-Star Game MVP! Antetokounmpo scored 35 points on a perfect 16-of-16 from the floor to win. He was the favorite to win the award, so we had a lot of chalk in the betting market tonight with Steph also winning the 3-Point Contest. Giannis was +300 on DKSB to win MVP. Here’s a full recap of the MVP race throughout the game:

Final update — DAME CALLED GAME. Lillard bangs a long-range three pointer and Team LeBron wins 170-150. So the total ends up being 320, the over hits. MVP will be up in the air. Giannis finishes with 35 points. Steph ended up with 28 and Dame had 32. CP3 had 16 assists, which I believe is the All-Star Game record, though we’ll have to check on that. Team LeBron also clears the -4 spread by a mile. Giannis should have the track to MVP but this could be close. We’ll see. Here’s Dame Time.

Steph knew the game was over when Dame came walking up the court before he banged the game-clinching 3-pointer. Check this out:

10:50 p.m. — Team LeBron is 14 points away from wrapping up the win in this one. They lead 156-132 with the target score 170. Team KD would need to go on a big run and actually play defense to pull off this one.

Third quarter update — So the score after the third is Team LeBron 146 Team Durant 125. That means that the target score for the fourth quarter is 170. Whoever gets to that mark first is the winner. It’s going to be interesting with the O/U. If Team Durant can go on a run, the over looks good. If Team LeBron dominates some more, this could be done quickly and the under would be good. LeBron himself sat out the entire third quarter. We’ll see if he jumps back in for the fourth.

10:30 p.m. — Team LeBron is up by a point in the third going for another quarter victory. We still haven’t seen LeBron James in the second half. Maybe he’s saving it for the fourth quarter that will basically be pointless? Giannis still has 35. Kyrie Irving could get a triple-double sitting at 21-11-6. Steph has 25 points. Team LeBron leads 140-119.

10:20 p.m. — Correction. Giannis has 35 points and is 16-of-16 from the floor with a perfect 3-of-3 from downtown. What is going on? Giannis can never hit 3s in actual games. Most of his 3s in the regular season are uncontested. No pressure, I guess?

10:18 p.m. — Giannis is up to 30 points on a clean 15-of-15 shooting from the floor LOL. If Giannis doesn’t miss a shot from the floor, does he auto win MVP? That may be the case. He’s running away from Curry in points; Steph has 22. CP3 has 12 assists and could break the record and come close to a triple-double. That’s the only way someone takes MVP from Giannis most likely.

10:15 p.m. — So this is something. LeBron isn’t out there to start the second half for his team. Not like it matters much because realistically he probably wasn’t in consideration for MVP anyway. Lillard replaced LeBron to start the half. The scoring has really kicked up a notch since the second quarter as well.

10:09 p.m. — So we’re almost into the second half of the All-Star Game. Team LeBron is up to -12.5 on the live line on DKSB. The ML is wayyyy in favor of Team LeBron, which is up 100-80 on the total score. After the third, they’ll take the total deficit and then the two teams play to 24. Now, I’m not sure if the game is just over if Team LeBron is up by 24 after the third quarter. We’ll see what happens there. Right now I’d say Steph and Giannis are frontrunners to win ASG MVP.

Dunk Contest recap — Anfernee Simons won the Dunk Contest over Obi Toppin by almost kissing the rim on his final slam. It was a pretty bad Dunk Contest overall. Simons became the first Blazer to win the Dunk Contest. Here’s the dunk he won it on:

9:50 p.m. — Simons actually got a dunk off but it wasn’t anything special. He put on a T-Mac Raptors jersey too? Okay? T-Mac’s dunk back in the day was 100% better than Simons dunk just now. Somehow that got him a 49, too. Toppin is up next.

Dunk Contest first round — Toppin had a 48, Stanley had a 44 and Simons had a 46 in the first round. You add up that with the second dunk and the two best dunkers advance to the finals. So far this isn’t really living up to expectations? Were there any expectations? We’ll see if one of these guys can salvage this dunk contest.

9:43 p.m. — Anfernee Simons went up and grabbed the ball sitting on a nerf hoop at the top of the square on the backboard. It wasn’t too flashy. The hops were nice but you would have liked to see Simons windmill it or do something after grabbing it. The judges gave Simons a 46 on the dunk. So Toppin’s was the best? This isn’t wowing anyone so far ...

9:42 p.m. — Obi Toppin had an OK dunk to follow up Stanley. Toppin somehow got a 48. It was a dunk that Zach LaVine could do in his sleep and Toppin is a big man.

Dunk Contest update — Don’t really have any action in the Dunk contest. Cassius Stanley would be my lean, we’ll see what happens. Okay, yeah, that Stanley dunk was pretty nice, between the legs, throwback to VC.

Halftime update — Dame Time came early. Okay now time for this dunk contest ...

9:28 p.m. — Team LeBron is rolling and pulling away from Team Durant. This may not even be a game by the time we hit the fourth quarter. What happens if Team LeBron is up by 24 points? Do they just not play the fourth quarter? We’ll see what happens. The combined score is now 100-80 at halftime. Things really got hot at the end of the half. Giannis has 24 points. Curry has 22 points for Team LeBron. Dame has 16 off the bench. Curry tied the ASG record for most 3-pointers in a half with 6.

9:26 p.m. — Here are a few of those Zion highlights:

9:21 p.m. — So we’ve got a TV timeout and Team LeBron leads Team Durant 80-72 on the total score. Steph has a few more treys and is up to 17 points, while Giannis has 19 points for Team LBJ. Irving and Tatum has 13 points each for Team KD. CP3 has 9 assists in the first half so far for Team LeBron.

9:18 p.m. — Giannis is the leading scorer with 17 points and hasn’t missed any of his 8 field goals. Curry just banged a 3-pointer so he’s back in the MVP convo. Zion has another dunk. This game is starting to pick up with Team LeBron holding a narrow lead in the second quarter score, 33-30.

9:11 p.m. — There’s the Zion we know and love! Williamson is back in the game and has a few nice finishes, including an alley-opp from Irving.

9:10 p.m. — Team Durant has taken the aggregate lead and is leading the second quarter. Kyrie is up to 13 points and 6 assists and would likely have the path to MVP at this point. Curry and Tatum will also be in the conversation at this point. Still a lot of basketball left.

9:08 p.m. — We had a nice little moment with Jaylen Brown vs. Jayson Tatum 1v1 with Brown getting the foul call and hitting a few free throws. Tatum came right back down the floor and scored.

9:04 p.m. — So the second quarter is underway and remember that the score resets after each quarter. The aggregate score is then added up at the end and the two teams play to 24 points in honor of Kobe Bryant.

First quarter recap — Unbelievable. Team LeBron turns it over and Jaylen Brown launches a miserable 3-pointer to end the first and the 1Q spread is a push ... Not the best start of the night for the ASG but that’s what I get for betting on an All-Star Game ... Team LeBron is up 40-39 after the first.

8:57 p.m. — I may be a bit behind but we’re sweating out Team LeBron 1Q -1 a little bit. There’s a minute left and LeBron’s squad has a 3-point lead.

8:51 p.m. — CP3 is doing that thing where he just throws up lobs for dunks over and over. Team LeBron has a 6-point lead with just over 2 minutes left in the first quarter. It’s 37-31 at the TV timeout. Rudy Gobert has a quick 6 points off the bench. James Harden, same deal, a pair of treys since he checked in.

8:49 p.m. — This game was kind of a gong show until Curry banged a 3-pointer from near mid-court like it was nothing. Team LeBron with the lead. We need more of this Curry-Dame backcourt. Curry is up to 12 points and Giannis has 11.

8:42 p.m. — In a wild turn of events, Zion has more missed dunks than made dunks early on. ZION HELP ME OUT MAN, FINISH AT THE RIM. Kyrie set him up for an off-the-glass dunk that Zion botched. Curry is on fire early on. Team LeBron is up 3 points at the TV timeout, 23-20.

8:40 p.m. — Chef Curry with a nice no-look pass to Nikola Jokic for a dunk. The teams are trading baskets and Curry just banged a 3-pointer from the corner, like he did to knock off Conley in the 3-point contest.

8:37 p.m. — ZION DUNK ALERT! That’s the first of hopefully many tonight that gets us a nice cashout on 20/1 to win MVP. Pretty even game so far in the early going, a few nice dunks.

8:32 p.m. — We’re almost about to get underway (finally) tonight for the ASG. So here’s a look at the top odds to win ASG MVP on DraftKings Sportsbook:

Giannis Antetokounmpo +300
LeBron James +500
Stephen Curry +800
Luka Doncic +900
Kyrie Irving +900
Zion Williamson +1000
Bradley Beal +1200
James Harden +1400
Nikola Jokic +1400
Kawhi Leonard +1400
Damian Lillard +1400

8:07 p.m. — Intros are starting, so remember, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons aren’t playing tonight due to Covid-19 contact tracing. Zion Williamson is starting for Embiid on Team Durant. You can find the full rosters here.

8:01 p.m. — We’ve got a bit of movement on the odds for the ASG. The spread is still -4 for Team LeBron. The O/U is up to 319 after opening around 312. Team LeBron is -195 on the ML while Team Durant is +163 now. As was mentioned before, I have Team LeBron -4.5 and Team LeBron 1Q -1 spreads. Also just a reminder of the MVP action we’ve got:

James Harden 14/1
Zion Williamson 20/1
Chris Paul 50/1
Nikola Jokic 20/1
Damian Lillard 14/1

7:54 p.m. — So if you’re just joining us we’ve got two winners so far tonight. Domantas Sabonis won the Skills Comp at 5/1 on DKSB. Chef Curry gave us a show in the 3-Point Shootout as the favorite at +110 and won his second 3-Point Contest title. Now we’ve got the All-Star Game up next!

7:51 p.m. — Curry isn’t even real man. Steph Curry won his second 3-point title by hitting the last moneyball to knock off Conley 28-27 in the final round. Curry was the favorite and came through for bettors. That was just an amazing performance.

7:47 p.m. — OH BABY DON’T SLEEP ON THE LEFTY. Conley posted a 27 in the second round and is looking dangerous. Steph is up next and needs to beat 27 to win his second 3-point contest.

7:46 p.m. — Tatum got us started in the second round and struggled with 17 points. That may not be enough to get it done. There’s no way Curry isn’t in the final at this point. Conley looked pretty decent in Round 1 as well. We could be staring down Curry vs. Conley in this final.

7:40 p.m. — CHEF CURRY IS COOKIN! Steph dropped a cool 31 points to lead the round and advance. So Curry, Tatum and Conley will advance to the next round. After that first round from Curry, I don’t know if anyone can beat him. Also RIP Zach LaVine bet at 5/1. Pour one out ... Steph wasn’t even fair ...

7:37 p.m. — Mitchell got off to a slow start but was able to tie LaVine with 22 points and avoid elimination. Curry will need to beat 22 points to advance to the next round at least. We’ll see if the 2015 champ can come through. He’s the favorite on DKSB.

7:35 p.m. — MIKE CONLEY WASNT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE HERE. Conley finished with the best round so far at 28 points. D-Mitch is up next and Steph closes us out.

7:28 p.m. — My pick LaVine ended up with 22 in the first round, which may be enough to advance. It’s going to be close. He started off with the moneyball rack and made 3 of 5 shots. He missed both longe-range Mt. Dew shots as well.

7:26 p.m. — Brown’s teammate Jayson Tatum did much better. He posted 25 points in the first round and that’ll be a good score to advance to the second round. We’ve got the two Jazz players, Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell, plus Steph and Zach LaVine still to go.

7:24 p.m. — Jaylen Brown started us off and he did not do well. Brown finished with 17 points in his first round. It’ll be tough to advance with that number. He was the longest odds to win, which makes sense.

7:15 p.m. — The 3-Point Contest is up next and we’ve got action on Zach LaVine at 5/1 to win on DKSB. We’ll be recapping a bit after each round, there are some props on DraftKings Sportsbook as well, so we’ll see if anyone goes O26.5 points in a round.

7:11— SAAAAAAABONIS. Both players struggled on the 3-pointer but Sabonis eventually got it done to take home the win. Sabonis was the runner-up last season and seemed to steamroll his way to the Skills Challenge title. This is the second straight season a big man has won the contest; Bam Adebayo won last year. Check out the full recap here.

7:00 — VUUUUUUUCE AGAIN! CP3 is out! Vucevic advances to the ALL BIG MAN FINAL. Sabonis vs. Vucevic for all the marbles! Both players were long shots at +550 on DKSB to win this challenge.

6:58 p.m. — Sabonis just knocked off the favorite in Doncic and will advance to the Finals! Sabonis made it look easy too! Doncic struggle on the pass and Sabonis banged the 3-pointer on the first try again. Sabonis may be the favorite going into the final.

6:57 p.m. — VUUUUUUUCEE!! Vucevic beats Covington by a hair on the 3-pointer and will advance to face CP3 in the second round.

6:56 p.m. — Sabonis smoked Randle in their first round matchup, so the New York Knicks All-Star is ousted. Sabonis will advance to face Doncic in the second round.

6:38 p.m. — So Luka Doncic and CP3 get byes in the Skills Challenge for the first round. Domantas Sabonis will face Julius Randle while Robert Covington will take on Nikola Vucevic in the first. The winner of the first matchup advances to play Doncic and RoCo or Vuce will face CP3.

5:30 p.m. — So the Skills Challenge is about to get going. I didn’t make any bets for this comp but would consider a few long shot odds. Domantas Sabonis did well in this competition last season and is +550 on DKSB. I also don’t mind RoCo at +700; he was at +600 and +650 at different points before Sunday. It will either be Luka taking this or one of the big men, in my mind. We’ll see though, CP3 is +175 with Doncic and has competed in this contest a few times and hasn’t won. Maybe he’s more motivated than we think.

4:54 p.m. — Welcome to the NBA All-Star Game live blog! We’ll be providing updates throughout the evening on all the events and action. Things are going to get underway shortly, so I’m just going to go over a few picks I’ve already entered (and will most likely regret in a few hours).

As far as lines, I picked up Team LeBron -4.5 and Team LeBron -1 1Q spreads. Team KD losing Joel Embiid is pretty big even though it should open up more playing time for Zion Williamson. Team LeBron was already stacked and I think will come out and win the first quarter pretty easily.

I’ve also thrown a lot of darts on MVP, here’s a rundown:

James Harden 14/1
Zion Williamson 20/1
Chris Paul 50/1
Nikola Jokic 20/1
Damian Lillard 14/1

I didn’t invest too much on any of these bets, mostly just guys I think have value in the MVP market. Zion’s line has moved up to 14/1 since the announcement he’d be starting for Embiid. The only other bet I have is Zach LaVine to win the 3-Point Contest at 5/1. You can hit me up on Twitter @BenZweimanDKN with your picks!