ATLANTA (CBS/AP) — Zach LaVine is the first Bulls All-Star since Jimmy Butler, as an Eastern Conference reserve playing for Kevin Durant’s team.
But LaVine was also trying to make All-Star Weekend history in the 3-Point Contest. He already won the dunk contest twice when he played for Minnesota, and he tried to be the first dunk king also to win the three-point contest.READ MORE: 'Autism Database' Seeks To Help Provide Help When Special Needs Kids Get Lost Or Go Missing
“I’m prepared, man – I’m excited. I’m glad I got my feet wet in the competition last year so I know what to expect,” LaVine said before the contest. “Hopefully, I just knock down the money balls.”
LaVine decided to start with the money rack, and he made three in a row. But he was knocked out in the 1st round and finished tied for fourth place.
Instead, the three-point crown came down to the very last shot, and Steph Curry drilled it, winning his second career three-point crown.
LaVine then made his NBA All-Star Game debut Sunday. He was the first Bulls All-Star in four years.
In the first quarter, LaVine teamed up with Donovan Mitchell on the alley-oop. He had 13 points.
But in the second quarter, LaVine was guarding Steph Curry, who was still making three-pointers. Team Lebron won 170-150.READ MORE: Cook County Will Pause Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Amid CDC, FDA Review
Determined to pull off an exhibition that is huge for TV revenue and the league’s worldwide brand, the NBA staged the game in a mostly empty arena in downtown Atlanta, a made-for-TV extravaganza that was symbolic of the coronavirus era.
Even with intense safety protocols in place, two players didn’t even make it to tipoff. Philadelphia stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were ruled out because they got haircuts from a barber who tested positive for COVID-19.
But once the game began, it fell right in line with the three previous All-Star outings with the captain format. The top vote-getters in each conference pick the teams, a duty that James has earned all four years.
James is now 4-0, having defeated Curry’s squad in 2018 and teams selected by Milwaukee’s two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo the last two years.
This All-Star Game was a one-night-only event, with a pair of skill competitions held shortly before the game and the Dunk Contest squeezed into the halftime break. The players flew in Saturday afternoon and were largely confined to a nearby hotel except for their time on the court.
For the Dunk Contest, Anfernee Simons walked away with the crown.MORE NEWS: Man Lost Everything As He Waited On Callback From Illinois Department Of Employment Security That Never Came
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)