LaMarcus Aldridge (third appearance) and Damian Lillard (first appearance) and the rest of the Western Conference All-Stars fell to the Eastern Conference All-Stars earlier tonight, 163-155. The game was the usual All-Star palette of no-look passes, dunks, and heat checks, but did set an all-time record for scoring, with a combined 318 points between the two teams.
The West was lead by Kevin Durant, who finished with 38 points and 10 rebounds, and Blake Griffin, who also had 38 points. Kyrie Irving lead the charge for the East with 31 points, and was aided by Carmelo Anthony who chipped in 30. Anthony also set an All-Star Game record with eight three-pointers. Irving ended up winning the MVP, with 14 assists and 5 rebounds in addition to his scoring contribution.
As for the Blazers duo, they had a bit of a rough night, combining for 5-17 shooting. Lillard (3-8 shooting) was passable, finishing with nine points and hit half of his six three-point attempts. Aldridge finished with only four points, shooting just 2-9, but contributed five rebounds, three of them offensive. In a game where minutes come at a premium, Aldridge earned 13 minutes, and All-Star Game rookie Lillard played nine.
Once again, I was impressed by Lillard’s calmness and refusal to show any signs of nerves. It has to be at least somewhat intimidating to be the floor general for four other more experienced players, but he filled his role well, taking shots when needed, and willingly dishing it off when the time called.
It was hard for both players to find any sort of rhythm with such limited minutes, and this especially affected Aldridge, whose primary weapon is his jump shot. His shot looked off all night, and without the familiar spacing of his normal teammates, his looks were a little more rushed.
This completes Lillard’s daunting gauntlet of weekend activities, and will hopefully be the first of many appearances for the Blazers duo. Luckily for Lillard, the Blazers do not play again until this Wednesday, against the San Antonio Spurs at 7:00 p.m. PST.