Playing in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night was great and everything, but the
"Top young guys doesn't really mean anything," Russell said. "The main event is where everybody wants to be, so I'm just trying to get to that point."
Russell and fellow Lakers guard
Russell scored 22 points on nine-for-15 shooting to go with seven assists in a game featuring little defense, and Clarkson was strong across the board with 25 points, five rebounds and five assists.
The biggest drama might have come when Clarkson interrupted a halftime television interview, tapping teammate Devin Booker on the chest with the back of his hand to make a prediction.
"Three-point champion," Clarkson said of the Phoenix guard, a participant in the long-range shooting contest Saturday. "I'm calling it."
Clarkson looked worthy of competing in the contest in the first half when he twice made back-to-back three-pointers, before cooling a bit and finishing five for 14 from beyond the arc. Russell made four of seven three-point attempts.
"There's no 150-point games in a real season, so it says a lot about defense, honestly," Russell said. "But it's just a confidence-builder."
Zach LaVine of Minnesota was selected the game's most valuable player after collecting 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the U.S. team.
A three-point plan
Stepping on or over the line wasn't
The Clippers shooting guard said he also noticed he grabbed balls from the wrong side of the rack.
"Depending on which side of the rack you grab the ball from, your footwork is a little different," Redick said. "Not that shooting threes off a rack is an exact science or anything. Ultimately the ball just needs to go through the net."
Redick said he analyzed a shot chart to determine where he was best shooting the ball and decided to finish the contest with his "moneyball" rack in the right corner, the same as last year.
An already impressive list of participants got even stronger Friday when Portland's
McCollum has made 39.2% of his three-point shots this season compared to Bosh's 36.5%.
The Big Hall of Famer?
O'Neal thanked his late stepfather for teaching him the jump hook so he could "be dominant like Wilt" Chamberlain and
O'Neal took a playful jab at
"I'd rather shoot zero percent," O'Neal said. "I can't do it. I'm too cool for that."
The other NBA finalists were Yao,
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