Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. NBA

NBA All-Star weekend review: Damian Lillard steals the show in Indiana

The NBA All-Star weekend has come and gone, and as expected, it was a fun three days that featured high-flying dunks, deep threes, and lots of excitement.

The weekend featured Mac McClung defending his title in the Slam Dunk contest by defeating Jaylen Brown, and an evenly-matched 3-Point Contest that Damian Lillard won. 

On Sunday, the Eastern Conference demolished the Western Conference with a 25-point win in the All-Star Game. Let’s take a closer look at all of the highlights and memorable moments from this weekend.

Mac McClung wins the Dunk Contest again

Has Mac McClung saved the Dunk Contest? That’s what a lot of people are starting to believe, as the G-League player has brought more action to the contest than any NBA player in the last few years. 

The participants in this year’s contest were Jaylen Brown, Jaime Jaquez Jr., McClung, and Jacob Toppin. 

McClung was the favorite to win back-to-back titles, but Brown was able to stay close with him in the final round. 

Brown’s dunks seemed to have more of a story as he paid tribute to several players - and his perceived inability to use his left hand - while McClung decided to get creative with his athleticism. 

In the final round, it came down to the last dunk. McClung needed a near-perfect score to beat Brown, and he got that and more. 

The last dunk of the night was the only dunk of the contest that was awarded a perfect score. McClung brought out Shaq to stand under the rim and gave Shaq a much bigger version of McClung’s high school jersey to wear. 

On the first try, McClung dunked it and won the contest for the second year in a row.

Damian Lillard goes back-to-back in 3-Point Contest

Winning back-to-back contests was a theme of this year’s All-Star Saturday Night: McClung defended his title in the Dunk Contest and then Damian Lillard became the first player to win back-to-back 3-Point Contests since Jason Kapono did it in 2007 and 2008. 

However, it wasn’t without a sweat. The first round of the contest was extremely close as every player had a score of at least 20. 

Damian Lillard, Trae Young, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Tyrese Haliburton all scored 26 in the first round, but only three players could move on. The four players participated in a tiebreaker, and the hometown hero Haliburton was knocked out.

That meant the final round featured Lillard, Young, and Towns. Only Young had not previously won a 3-Point Contest of those three, as Lillard won it last year and Towns won it the year before that. 

In the final round, Young had 22 and Towns had 24. Then, it was Lillard’s turn. 

It came down to the final shot as Lillard had 24 with one moneyball left. In classic Damian Lillard fashion, he made the final shot as the clock expired to win his second 3-Point Contest in as many years.

NBA All-Star Game: Eastern Conference dominates

The Western Conference was the favorite to win the All-Star Game, and it’s not hard to see why as most of the team will become Hall of Famers and the conference standings are jam-packed thanks to all the talent out West.

The West’s starting lineup consisted of LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Nikola Jokic. That includes three former MVPs with seven such awards between them, as well as three of the four MVP favorites based on current odds.

James did not play much since he was nursing an ankle injury, so that put a lot of responsibility on the rest of the starting lineup and the reserves. 

Gilgeous-Alexander picked up a lot of the work as he finished with 31 points on 12-16 shooting from the field. Durant added 18 points too, but a lot of the scoring was from the bench.

Devin Booker had 15, Steph Curry had 16, Paul George had 13, but the biggest surprise of the All-Star Game was Karl-Anthony Towns. 

The Timberwolves big man finished with 50 points - the most of any player in the game. He was 23-35 from the field and played nearly all of the second half. Towns did what he could to keep the West in the game, but in the end, the Eastern Conference was just too strong.

Boston’s duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown didn’t skip a beat in the All-Star Game as Tatum finished with 20 and Brown had 36. 

However, most of the scoring was between two guys who were competitors in the 3-Point Contest. Damian Lillard and Tyrese Haliburton combined for 21 3-pointers as the two shooters ended with 71 combined points. 

They were the stars of the show for the Eastern Conference, and in the end, Lillard was awarded the All-Star Game MVP. 

There were some boo’s during the presentation of the award since the Indy crowd wanted their player Haliburton to win, but Lillard’s hot shooting won him the award.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalized service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet $1 & Get $365 in Bonus Bets Join Now

Deposit required. Bonus Bet winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply.