West pulls away late, beats East in All-Star Game, 143-138

West pulls away late, beats East in All-Star Game, 143-138
February 18, 2013, 4:52 am
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HOUSTON The All-Star weekend is presented under the guise of it being a showcase of the brightest stars - and we're not just talking players, either.

It is indeed a smorgasbord for those who feast off watching folks who are the best of the best at their respective craft - and we're not just talking about the Hollywood A-listers.

Those taking center stage on Sunday, the NBA All-Stars, didn't really buckle down until the game's final minutes - an all-too common happening during these games.

And Sunday's game was indeed just that as the Western Conference pulled away in the closing minutes for a 143-138 win.

LeBron James pulled up for a jumper that Kobe Bryant swatted from the side. The loose ball wound up in the hands of Kevin Durant who coasted into the lane for a dunk that gave the West a 136-126 lead that proved to be too big a deficit for the East to overcome.

For the West, Clippers guard Chris Paul took home All-Star Game MVP honors with 20 points and 15 assists while Kevin Durant, last year's MVP, had a game-high 30 points. For the East, Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 11 rebounds while Dwyane Wade had 21 points.

The West All-Stars lead 31-26 after the first quarter with Kevin Durant leading the way with 7 points. Kobe Bryant also had a strong quarter for the West, with five points and three assists.

James and Anthony carried the East with seven points apiece.

The game stayed relatively close in the second quarter, ending with the West leading 69-65.

Durant continued to carry the West with 19 first-half points. Blake Griffin was a factor as well with 12 points coming on six alley-oop dunks.

For the East, their Big Three consisted of Wade (12 points), James (10 points) and Anthony (10 points).

Kevin Garnett played just six minutes -- all in the first quarter -- finishing with zero points and three rebounds.