Former University of Kentucky star Anthony Davis said before the NBA All-Star Game that he planned to shoot the ball every time he got it. And he did just that.
The New Orleans Pelicans star put on a show for his hometown crowd and was named the game’s MVP after scoring an All-Star Game record 52 points to go with 10 rebounds. Davis’ West squad defeated the East 192-182 on Sunday night.
Davis, who was 26-for-39 from the field, eclipsed the previous record of 42 points held by Wilt Chamberlain since 1962.
“My teammates did a great job of looking for me,” Davis said. “At the end it was just an emphasis on trying to get 50, which is very fun.”
Davis is the second former Kentucky player to win the All-Star Game’s MVP award. Adrian Smith also earned the honor in 1966.
Also Dave Cowens, who played in high school for Newport Catholic before going on to star Florida State, the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks, was the game’s MVP in 1973.
“It’s amazing,” Davis said of winning MVP in front of his home crowd. “That’s what I wanted to do it for, for the city of New Orleans and the Pelicans organization. I love this city, and these guys support us each and every night and so I wanted to get this one for them.”
John Wall had 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals for the East.
DeMarcus Cousins, the subject of trade rumors before the game, only played two first-half minutes. He had three points and one steal.
Davis’ got plenty of help from his West teammates. Russell Westbrook scored 41 points and Kevin Durant had 21 to go with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the East squad with 30 points, LeBron James scored 23 and Kyrie Irving had 22 to go with seven rebounds and 14 assists.