For the second year in a row, the 2020 NBA All-Star game featured Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis.
And for the second year in a row, we got the same result.
In a newly adopted format to honor late NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, Team LeBron defeated Team Giannis 157-155. Kawhi Leonard, led all scorers with 30 points, adding seven rebounds, winning the newly named Kia NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant MVP Award.
The new format had both teams compete to win each of the first three quarters. Team scores started at zero on the main scoreboard in each of those quarters. In an additional twist to the format, both teams competed for charities designated to their team, with the winning team getting $100,000 for their charity. If both teams scored the same amount of points in a quarter, the charity donation on the line would be added to the next quarter’s pool.
Team LeBron won the first quarter by a score of 53-41, awarding their designated charity, Chicago Scholars, the $100,000 donation. Team Giannis won the second quarter 51-30, awarding their team’s designated charity, After School Matters, a $100,000 donation. As both teams scored 41 points apiece in the third quarter, the $100,000 donation for that quarter would eventually go to Team LeBron. It’s a format the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chris Paul would like to see stay.
“I think sometimes people lose sight of the purpose of All-Star Weekend,” said Paul.
“It’s really a big “thank you” to the fans and all the people that support us. We go out there and compete night in and night out, but there’s no us without the fans.
The first three-quarters of action lacked defense by both teams. With the charity donation still being on the line, the final quarter saw a rise in intensity.
Additionally, another homage to Kobe Bryant, the final target (and winning) score would be the leading team’s score after the first three quarters plus 24 points, one of Bryant’s jersey numbers. Heading into the fourth, Team Giannis led Team LeBron 133-124, setting the target score to 157.
As a result, a dramatic finish was on the horizon in the United Center.
Hence, it was fitting that Chicago native Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers would leave his mark. After bouncing his first shot off of the rim, Davis would nail the second one to give Team LeBron the win. In addition to that, Davis would add 20 points, nine rebounds, three steals, and three blocks in his return home.
The NBA regular season will resume action this Thursday.