TORONTO (AP) — Zach LaVine had 30 points and seven rebounds, and the United States team beat the World team 157154 in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night to kick off the NBA's All-Star weekend.
In the game featuring some of the best rookies and sophomores in the league, LaVine geared up to defend his slam dunk title on Saturday night by making 13 of 20 shots to beat Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Andrew Wiggins. LaVine was selected the game MVP.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 30 points and Emmanuel Mudiay had 30 points and 10 assists for the World team. Wiggins scored 29 points while playing in front of his hometown fans.
Los Angeles Lakers sophomore Jordan Clarkson added 25 for the Americans.
The Rising Stars game can sometimes take on the feel of a sideshow, something that forces the next generation into a spotlight that they aren't always ready for. But the court was loaded with talent on Friday night, with players like Wiggins, Porzingis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Elfrid Payton and Jabari Parker.
The influx of talent has given several long-suffering franchises — the Timberwolves, Knicks, Bucks — hope that better days are arriving soon.
Drake, Canada prevail in celebrity game vs. Hart, U.S.
Drake outcoached Kevin Hart, and Win Butler was aptly named in the NBA All-Star celebrity game.
Butler, the lead singer for Arcade Fire, scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to earn MVP honors and help Canada defeat the United States 74-63 in the first "game" of All-Star weekend.
And Drake didn't even need to change out of his sharp jacket.
With NBA All-Stars like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kyle Lowry looking on, as well as celebs like Spike Lee, Vin Diesel and Guy Fieri in the stands, Drake — aided by a dunk from tennis star Milos Raonic — led the Canadians to a nine-point lead at the half.
That led Hart to turn over the U.S. coaching duties to All-Star player Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons in the third quarter, change into a uniform and insert himself into the game in an ultimately futile attempt to lead a comeback.
Drake feigned anger to the referees, one of many examples of how just about everyone took the game as intended — entertaining.