CHICAGO (ABC4 Sports) – Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert scored 21 points and pulled down 11 points in his first NBA All-Star Game, as Team LeBron held off Team Giannis, 157-155.
Gobert made 10 of 11 shots, nine of which came in dunks, while fellow Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell added 7 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists for Team Giannis.
Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points to earn MVP honors, while Anthony Davis hit the game-winning free throw for Team LeBron.
“For me and Rudy to get here and put on for Utah is really special,” Mitchell said. “We’re overlooked in a lot of things, so for us to be out here and make a name for ourselves is pretty cool.”
Neither Gobert nor Mitchell played in the fourth quarter, but both players were OK with it.
“We kind of expected it, understanding that the stars would be left in,” Mitchell said. “I don’t think either one of us was too upset. I think when we’ve got more years and more experience, we can do that. We were just going out there and having fun.”
“I was just here to have a good time, and I thought the guys in the fourth played great,” Gobert said.
Leonard, who was named the Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP, made eight 3-pointers to finish one shy of Paul George’s All-Star record in 2016. Davis missed the first attempt, then sank the winning free throw, after Kyle Lowry grabbed him as he attempted to catch a pass in the paint.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 25 for his team.
The winning team needed to reach 157 points after Team Giannis grabbed a 133-124 cumulative lead through the first three quarters.
The game also has a charity component, with the winner of each of the first three quarters earning $100,000 for a Chicago-based community organization. The money gets rolled over if there’s a tie, and the overall winner also earns $200,000 for its group.
Team LeBron played for Chicago Scholars, a seven-year program that helps incoming high school seniors navigate the college application process and ultimately helps groom them for the workforce. Team Giannis played for After School Matters, an after-school and summer apprenticeship program for high school teens promoting the arts, communications, leadership and sports.