The 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend culminates with the All-Star Game featuring the East and West teams on Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. All-Star activities such as the Rookie Challenge, Skills Competition, Three-Point Shootout and Slam-Dunk Contest have provided great entertainment so far leading to the All-Star Game.
Former Kentucky teammates John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins teamed up as the Rookies beat the Sophomores for the second straight year, 148-140, in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge. Wall had 22 assists to earn MVP honors while Cousins had 33 points and 14 rebounds.
In the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors beat Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the finals to capture this year’s title. He overcame a strong field of highly skilled competitors such as Derrick Rose of Chicago, John Wall of Washington and Chris Paul of New Orleans.
James Jones of the Miami Heat won the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, beating out Paul Pierce and Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics. Jones scored 20 points, hitting all but one colored ball worth two points, in the final round against 18 by Pierce and 15 by Allen.
In the Sprite Slam-Dunk Competition, rookie sensation Blair Griffin made two-handed slam over a Kia Optima to win the contest against Javale McGee of the Washington Wizards. Early favorite DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors and Serge Ibaka did not make it past the elimination round.
The All-Star Game on Sunday is seen as Kobe Bryant’s stand against the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. Four players from Boston and three from Miami, Eastern Conference rivals, will play together against Bryant who is playing his final All-Star Game at home.