Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry took two charges, one of which negated the game-winning 3-pointer from Houston Rockets guard James Harden.
There was both a coach’s challenge by Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel and multiple replay reviews in crunch time of the fourth and final quarter.
Players from both teams were arguing, pleading their cases to the referees almost nearly every call.
Sunday night in Chicago marked a real game — a real All-Star Game.
It was intense for players from both Team Giannis, Team LeBron and the charities they represented.
Ultimately, Team LeBron rallied for a 157-155 victory as Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis connected on a free throw to propel the team to the “target score” of 157.
The new format made for a competitive fourth quarter. The competitive fourth quarter made for one of the better NBA All-Star Games in recent memory.
Played like a pickup game in the 4th.
New All-Star game format gave the matchup new life 🙌 pic.twitter.com/6Xs5unDSN1
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 17, 2020
“They did a great job with the format this year,” Leonard said after the game, as seen on TNT. “The format made it competitive, we all went out there, we all wanted to win.
“It was great,” Leonard said. “The guys (were) over the taking charges in the all-star game, running back, talking on defense. It was great.”
“I think we like this format. Everybody like this format,” Davis said, per TNT. “It brings the intensity back to the game, brings the energy back to the game… We all enjoyed it.”
Team LeBron captain LeBron James added the game was “extremely fun,” as seen on ESPN. James noted how players showcased their sense of pride and competitiveness in the game that has lacked just that.
The NBA may be onto something with this format, we’ll just have to wait and see if they keep it around.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images