The 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend was special. There really is no other way to describe it. From the record-setting three-point shootout, to the eye-popping excitement of the dunk contest, the Barclays Center was the perfect start to an unforgettable showcase of talent. Then last night’s main event was the cherry on top. With the West and East teams combining for the most points in All-Star Game history, the folks at Madison Square Garden were treated to a performance worthy of the bright lights of New York City. The West may have won the game, 163-158, but the real winners of this weekend were the fans, who got to enjoy events filled with one spectacular highlight after the other. With that being said, these are the seven moments that stood out the most from the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend.
1. Steph Curry shoots the lights out in the three-point contest
There are a lot of great shooters in the NBA, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one more exciting than Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry. The 26-year-old point guard had never won the the three-point contest before, but he decided to put on a show for the crowd at the Barclays Center. Curry lit up the final round with a record 27 points, and connected on 13 straight shots. In a star-studded field, Steph Curry definitely shined the brightest.
2. The night Zach LaVine broke onto the scene
If you didn’t know about the other Minnesota Timberwolves rookie, then we suggest you watch the highlights from this year’s Sprite Slam Dunk contest. It was during this display of unrivaled athleticism that Zach LaVine officially became a household name. In an ode to Space Jam, LaVine donned the Jordan jersey, flew through the sky like MJ himself, and flushed home one absurd slam after the other. It was a jaw-dropping performance unlike anything we’ve seen in quite some time. We can’t wait to see what the kid does next year when he sets out to defend his crown.
3. Kyle Korver comes out firing from three
Kyle Korver failed to live up to his sensational outside shooting standards during this year’s three-point contest. He didn’t even make it out of the first round. But maybe he was just saving his sweet touch for the All-Star Game itself. On Sunday night it was raining three’s, and Korver was behind a lot of them. The Atlanta Hawk hit his first three from deep, and finished with seven on the night. That’s definitely one way to get to 21 points. Nicely done, Kyle. We forgive you.
4. Steve Kerr understands coaching in the All-Star Game
For those of you who’ve witnessed your fair share of All-Star Games, you know it’s more about the highlights and less about the X’s and O’s. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr definitely understands this concept. He may have been tasked with running the West squad, but he showed that it was all about the fun. No wonder he’s in the early running for NBA Coach of the Year honors.
5. LeBron loves the Garden
LeBron James was very excited to play this All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. Before Sunday’s main event, this is what the King had to say about playing in New York. “It’s going to be the best All-Star Game for me, to be able to be in the Garden,” LeBron said on Friday. “I love my fans back in Cleveland. I loved my fans when I was in Miami. But if I could have 82 regular-season games in the Garden, you know I would, because it’s the mecca of basketball. You get a great feeling when you walk in there because there is so much history. It’s going to be fun.” James set out to entertain. And entertain he did, dropping 30 points on 21 shots and almost leading the East All-Stars to victory. Madison Square Garden certainly got the royal treatment.
6. Curry goes no-look to Harden
This was the biggest highlight of Sunday’s main event. Steph Curry with the no-look lob to James Harden, who flushed it with the left hand. The Houston Rockets stud brought the house down with this one. The thing is, Harden is a prolific scorer with an insane offensive repertoire, and Curry is a human highlight reel. We weren’t shocked that they’d find a way to produce some magic together. But this was beyond our wildest imagination.
7. Russell Westbrook earns MVP honors
The All-Star Game belonged to Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. He may not have started the contest, but his performance was explosive nonetheless. Westbrook set a new All-Star Game record with 27 points in the first half, and his 41-point showing was just shy of the highest single-game total. There was no denying the MVP trophy belonged in his hands at the end of the night.