Sports

Red-hot Stephen Curry sinks 16 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to victory in All-Star Game


Somebody forgot to tell Stephen Curry that the three-point contest was Saturday.

The Golden State Warriors superstar put on a shooting clinic to lead Team LeBron to victory in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.

LeBron James sank the game-winning basket as his side edged Team Durant 163-160, giving James his fifth straight all-star win as team captain.

But Curry was the brightest shooting star, winning the MVP award with a 50-point performance that included a record 16 3-pointers in front of a crowd of 19,400 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

He finished just two shy of Anthony Davis’ 2017 single-game scoring record of 52 points, but shattered Paul George’s previous record of nine threes, set in 2016.

“I tried, I tried,” Curry said of flirting with the single-game scoring record.

“When I get going the energy picks up. It is pretty special being back in Ohio.

“Obviously this trophy has very special meaning. I am very humbled, very blessed and I appreciate it.”

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers had 36 points and 10 rebounds to lead Team Durant.

The All-Star Game was preceded by the three-point shooting contest on Saturday, a competition Curry won in 2021 in Chicago. Karl-Anthony Towns was this year’s winner, as Curry did not enter.

James, a native of Ohio, nailed the winning shot with a fadeaway jumper to elevate Team LeBron to the target score of 163.

The 37-year-old was playing in his 18th All-Star game, which ties him with the late Kobe Bryant and moves him one shy of the record held by Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

James was one of two captains, the other being Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who did not attend the game due to the death of his grandmother earlier in the day.

Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns coached Team LeBron while Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat coached Team Durant.

Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies’ rising star scored six points and was one of seven players making their All-Star debut.

The other first-timers were the Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball, the Cleveland Cavaliers duo of Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland, the Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins, the San Antonio Spurs’ Dejounte Murray and the Toronto Raptors’ Fred VanVleet.

The NBA honored the its 75th Anniversary Team during halftime, with players from every decade of the league’s existence in attendance for the diamond anniversary.

Curry caught fire when play resumed, knocking down five 3-pointers in just over two minutes. His second 3-pointer during the stretch was his 10th, which broke George’s record.

Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media as part of the All-Star festivities, telling reporters there is no “silver bullet” to fix the problem of NBA stars dictating where they want to play by demanding trades to playoff contenders.

Silver was asked if the league was investigating last week’s swap between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, which saw James Harden join his third team in two seasons.

“There are no silver bullets here,” Silver said. “There isn’t any one aspect of the package where we can say, ‘This will fix the problem.’”

In the aftermath of the blockbuster trade, some of Harden’s peers called him out on social media, alleging the former league MVP wasn’t injured and was simply trying to get out of Brooklyn. Others wondered if the Sixers tampered to convince Harden to force a trade from the Nets.

“He wasn’t hurt,” former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady said. “He shut it down. Y’all think he’s hurt right now?… You don’t rehab a hammy by doing stepbacks.”

“We all know Philly was his first choice before he went to Brooklyn. So, when things hit the fan, he wanted out of there.”

Silver was also asked about Ben Simmons, who in August 2021 demanded a trade out of Philadelphia and then stopped cooperating with the club.

Instead of trading him right away, the 76ers fined and suspended him, forcing him to miss dozens of games.

Simmons was finally dealt along with Andre Drummond, Seth Curry and two future first-round picks, to Brooklyn in exchange for Harden and Paul Millsap.

“I have expressed my unhappiness before with public trade demands,” Silver said.

“We want players and teams to honor their contracts. In this case, we had two teams satisfied by the outcome of the trade.”

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