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NBA All-Star game updates: West beats the East, 163-158

Russell Westbrook scores 41 points to lead the West to a 163-158 victory in the NBA All-Star game

Russell Westbrook almost made history Sunday, scoring the second-most points in All-Star game history as the Western Conference held off the East, 163-158.

Westbrook had 41 points, one fewer than Wilt Chamberlain scored in 1962, and was an easy choice for MVP.

It was Westbrook’s game from the time he stepped on the court midway through the first quarter. By the time he sat down 11 minutes later, he had 27 points on 11-for-15 shooting, an All-Star record for points in a half.

There was also a record for total overall points, the teams’ 323 topping last year’s mark of 318.

Westbrook made five of nine three-point attempts and found other ways to score, including two dunks off alley-oop passes from Chris Paul.

Paul also found him for a dunk off an inbounds play, not that Westbrook didn’t create plays on his own, including a dunk off a steal in the third quarter.

Westbrook, 26, made 16 of 28 shots and had five rebounds and three steals in 26 minutes at Madison Square Garden.

He had 39 points with just less than a minute left, but James Harden dribbled the ball too much up top and the West was called for a shot-clock violation. On the West’s next possession, Paul took a running jumper that was off the mark.

Westbrook made two free throws with one second left after being fouled on purpose by the East, which was trying to get the ball back.

Harden had 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. LeBron James paced the East with 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

The Gasol vs. Gasol storyline ended in slight favor of older brother Pau, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Marc Gasol had six points and 10 rebounds. They were the first brothers to start an All-Star game.

Carmelo Anthony, the hometown hero for the New York Knicks, had only 14 points on a forgettable six-for-20 shooting. He has been fighting a sore knee that likely will require season-ending surgery soon.

Kyle Korver was second on the East with 21 points, making seven of 12 from three-point range.

Knicks fans proved to have good short-term recall by booing West Coach Steve Kerr during pregame introductions. Kerr was the first choice of Knicks President Phil Jackson but chose to coach Golden State instead of New York. The Knicks then hired Derek Fisher and are in the middle of an utterly horrendous season.

Knicks fans were much more appreciative toward former President Bill Clinton, who received loud cheers during the national anthem when he was shown two different times on the scoreboard.

Third quarter

Russell Westbrook continued to shoot and score. And score. And score.

He has 33 points through three quarters as the Western Conference is tied with the East, 122-122, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Westbrook took 21 shots in 16 minutes, making 14 of them, many of them dunks or three-pointers.

He wasn't the only one to put up points.

LeBron James has 24 for the East and Kyle Korver is at 18.

And in the triple-double watch, James Harden has 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the West, which once held a 20-point edge.

Halftime

Russell Westbrook went on a wild scoring spree and turned the typically high-scoring NBA All-Star game into his personal showcase in the first half Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard had 23 points in his first seven minutes of action as the West took an 83-82 halftime edge.

Westbrook made a flurry of three-pointers and found other ways to score, including a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul. By the time Westbrook sat down midway through the second quarter, Westbrook had 27 points in 11 minutes on 11-for-15 shooting. He also had an early jump on the MVP award.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James led the East with 22 points, while Atlanta Hawks sharp-shooter Kyle Korver had 12 points and Washington Wizards point guard John Wall added 11.

The tempo belonged to the West, though.

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki even got into the West’s high-scoring act, dunking an alley-oop pass from highly excited Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry. The dunk also brought Nowitzki’s West teammates off the bench in celebration.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden had a well-rounded 15 points and five assists, and for a brief time, it looked like the West might score 90 points in the first half.

First quarter

The points are coming quickly, as usual, and the Western Conference holds a 47-36 first-quarter lead over the East in the NBA All-Star game Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

LeBron James was incredibly active early, scoring 15 first-quarter points for the East,  but James Harden also had a quick start, scoring 13 points on five-for-six shooting and adding four assists.

James took nine shots in only eight minutes, and threw down a two-handed, alley-oop dunk to open the scoring.

In the Gasol vs. Gasol storyline, Marc got the best of Pau in the first quarter, outscoring him 6-0, though Pau didn't get many chances (one shot). They are the first brothers to start an All-Star game.

Carmelo Anthony, the hometown hero for the New York Knicks, had only two points on one-for-four shooting. He has been fighting a sore knee that likely will require season-ending surgery soon.

Knicks fans proved to have good short-term recall by booing West Coach Steve Kerr during pregame introductions. Kerr was the first choice of Knicks President Phil Jackson but chose to coach Golden State instead of New York. The Knicks then hired Derek Fisher and are in the middle of an utterly forgettable season.

Knicks fans were much more appreciative toward former President Bill Clinton, who received loud cheers during the national anthem when he was shown two different times on the scoreboard.

Pregame

For the first time since 1998, the NBA All-Star game will tip off in New York when the Western Conference All-Stars, including Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, take on LeBron James and the top players from the East this evening.

Paul is making his eighth appearance in the All-Star game, although he won't be starting this year. The West's starting lineup will be Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

Voted into the West's starting lineup but unable to play because of injuries are Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, Clippers forward Blake Griffin and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis.

James will be joined in the East's starting lineup by Chicago Bulls center-forward Pau Gasol, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Washington Wizards guard John Wall and Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. All five were voted into the lineup by fans.

The rest of the West All-Stars are: Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, Warriors guard Klay Thompson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.

The rest of the East All-Stars are: Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford, Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, Hawks guard Kyle Korver, Hawks forward Paul Millsap, Hawks guard Jeff Teague and Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

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