Tatum gives an exhibition at the NBA All Star and defeats LeBron’s team | Sports

The NBA All Stars have become a high-flying party. With the competition between East and West eliminated, the game has been reduced to an exhibition of offensive talent against defenses that almost make the attackers a corridor. In the middle of that was a man who took the game seriously and managed to defeat Team LeBron for the first time, which had won the previous five editions with that format in which the captains choose their teammates. Jayson Tatum has become the top scorer and has been named player of the all-star game.

Tatum, of the Boston Celtics, has achieved 55 points, an All Star record, proving that he is one of the fittest players in the American professional basketball league. With Antetokounmpo absent through injury, the team has been more Team Jayson than Team Giannis. With his performance, Tatum has led his team to a comfortable 184-175 victory.

The day before, Tatum had done poorly in the triple contest and this Sunday he was between eyebrows to be the protagonist of the game, above LeBron James. He has broken scoring records, with 55 points in the game and 27 in the third quarter. Tatum seemed ready from the beginning to be chosen MVP, but when he raised the level it was in the third quarter, after the long break for musical performances and halftime tributes.

The all-star party is looking more and more like one of the Harlem Globetrotters, with more talent, but less choreography. To animate the show, ingredients have been added, although the passion and competitiveness of a top-level match is lacking. Among the novelties of this exercise has been that the selection of the teams has been made just moments before starting the game.

The players have come to the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City (Utah) without knowing which shirt they would wear. LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo (he has only participated in the game in a testimonial way) have been selecting their teammates. Antetokounmpo’s greatest success has been to choose Tatum on the first occasion he has had. LeBron’s first two picks, Joel Embiid and Kyrie Irving, have each had 32 points, but Doncic and Jokic, who rounded out LeBron’s team starters, have only 4 each.

Luka Doncic, equipped with a headset and microphone, seemed more interested in answering the interview that was being done to him live on television than attending the game. At least, he has been able to tell live how he gave a mate. LeBron has made some spectacular plays, but he’s only managed 13 points in 14 minutes (and a handful of other records).

The party itself has had little history. The first quarter ended with a draw (46-46) and the defenses never made an effort to stop the attackers. In summary: stratospheric triples, acrobatic dunks, a Tatum that was beginning to show his teeth (13 points and a dunk with a pass to the board to replicate LeBron) and Doncic, giving an interview while playing.

Anteto and Tatum’s team began to gain an advantage in the second quarter, with the substitutes on the floor, but it was in the third, with Tatum back on the track, when he finally put land in the way. There he has given an exhibition with which he has made it clear that he came to take the title of best player. He’s the first Celtics player to do it since Larry Bird, no less.

The All Star is played with special rules and in the last quarter there is no time, but you have to reach a goal of points. Anteto and Tatum’s team needed 24 points and Lebron’s 41, so the die was cast. The winners were immediately planted a basket away from their goal, but to try to give it a bit of excitement they started trying to score almost from the middle of the court. Since it did not enter and the rivals got a little closer, they got a little closer to the hoop and closed the process.

Absent due to injury were Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Zion Williamson, who had initially been chosen as starters. His place in the starting five has been taken by Ja Morant, Joel Embiid and Lauri Markkanen.

LeBron James is the all-star game leader in minutes played, points scored, field goals made and field goals attempted. Just by taking the field, he has surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was elected 19 times between 1979 and 1989, but missed the 1973 game. With his selection, he has also broken Kobe Bryant’s record of 18 consecutive elections (Bryant missed then one of the parties). Plus, with 19 consecutive starts, he’s six behind the next, Bob Cousy.

The number 6 of the Lakers has repeated as captain for the sixth consecutive time, the six that this format has been used. In the previous five, his team had won. Antetokounmpo, who was already captain in 2019 and 2020, has taken over from Kevin Durant in the East.

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