The first half of the 2021 NBA All-Star Game was, well, about what one would expect from a fanless All-Star experience. The normal lack of defensive effort was turned up (down?) all the way as both teams started out completely going through the motions, leading to this tweet from Joel Embiid as he watched from his hotel room after being removed for contact tracing.
Mickey Mouse All Star Game ha
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) March 8, 2021
Eventually, the two teams would pick up the action after a sloppy start and the first quarter was a competitive one, with Team LeBron edging out Team Durant by one point.
However, the talent and depth of Team LeBron showed up in the second quarter as Stephen Curry erupted as only he can, but to end the half he was joined by Damian Lillard for an in-game halfcourt shooting competition. After missing his first effort, Dame found the bottom of the net from 42 feet out to the delight of Curry, egging him on.
Dame shooting free throws at the All Star Game! We love it! pic.twitter.com/o0DL98FOUJ
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 8, 2021
On the next possession, Steph had to make sure he got one up as well.
Steph wanted one from half court too
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) March 8, 2021
The first half featured a lot of Steph, as he was tied with Giannis Antetokounmpo for the leading scorer with 24 points, as he hit three deep threes, two from the T in All-Star and the other that midcourt shot. He also had a rare dunk on a lob from a sideline out of bounds play, that led to him returning the favor to Chris Paul immediately after.
CURRY AND CP3 HAMMER IT HOME! TURN ON TNT NOW!
Point guards getting UP in the #NBAAllStar Game! pic.twitter.com/421fsJhGwn
— NBA (@NBA) March 8, 2021
Steph finished the half 8-for-11 with 24 points, as it seems to be a battle of he and teammate Giannis for MVP honors. Antetokounmpo was a perfect 11-for-11, including a pair of threes to the delight of his teammates.
STEPBACK GREEK FREAK @Giannis_An34 | #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/WkjeXVfl5Y
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 8, 2021
The second half might not feature much game drama unless Team Durant makes a big third quarter run, but the MVP race on Team LeBron figures to be fun.