Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and the West fended off the Eastern Conference All-Stars in Sunday evening's (February 26) NBA All-Star Game, which came down to the last shot.
From Orlando's Amway Arena, the 2012 crop of NBA superstars put on a show for the fans in attendance and the millions watching around the world -- offering countless dunks (including alley-oops), three pointers, and ... almost no defense (lol).
Kobe and KD were the West's stars, with the Lakers superstar scoring 27 points and Durant pouring in 36 points to earn his first All-Star MVP honor. Oh, and they took the win 152-149.
"It was fun," Durant said. "That's the type of All-Star game you want to see."
While accepting his MVP trophy after the game, the young superstar was more than excited.
"This whole thing is crazy," said Durant. "Words can't describe. I'm excited and glad I'm taking this back to Oklahoma City. Hopefully I maintain this level the rest of the season. As a kid you dream of playing in an All-Star Game, but to be MVP is on another level."
Although KD ended up MVP, it could've easily went to the East's LeBron James. After the first 2 1/2 quarters, the game wasn't even close, but in the final stretch, King James rallied back, cutting the West's 21-point lead down to one in the closing seconds ... but they just weren't able to move in front.
"Being a competitor, no matter All-Star game or not, you don't want to get blown out," James said. "Of course not, when you're going against your peers and you're going against great players and you're playing with great players. I just wanted to try to pick it up and see if we could make a run at it, and we did."
James finished with 36 points as well, while Heat teammate Dwyane Wade finished with a triple-double.
Aside from the excitement, this year's All-Star game was also one for the history books. Kobe's performance helped him move past Michael Jordan as the career scoring leader in the annual game -- Jordan finished his career with 262 points in total, and now, Kobe has 271. He also surpasses greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (251) and Oscar Robertson 246).
Clippers rising star Blake Griffin chipped in 22 points for the West, which helped the team hit 88 points in the first half, setting an All-Star record.
Others making their mark on the West, included the Timberwolves' Kevin Love, who won the 3-point contest on Saturday. He scored 17 points for the West, while Chris Paul recorded eight points and 12 assists.
For the East, Deron Williams scored 20 points, Carmelo Anthony had 19, and Derrick Rose finished with 14.
It was the first NBA All-Star game in Orlando, Florida in 20 years -- the last being in the memorable 1992 game, when Magic Johnson was named MVP three months after retiring from the league following his shocking HIV announcement..
Johnson came onto the court for a standing ovation following the first quarter after highlights of his 1992 performance were shown. He was part of another 20-year anniversary acknowledgement in the third quarter, where he was joined by Olympic Dream Team teammates Chris Mullin, Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen and David Robinson.