NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James hits game-winner in Cleveland

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LeBron James had a nice return to Cleveland for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night.

James, who had two stints with the Cavaliers and led the team to an NBA championship in 2016, returned to the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, leading his team against Kevin Durant’s squad. The current Los Angeles Lakers star got a chance to finish the game in the fourth quarter.

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The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James looks to score as the Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine defends during the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Cleveland.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James looks to score as the Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine defends during the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Cleveland.
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

With his team needing another basket to win the game, James received the ball and was backing down Zach LaVine. James took a step back and threw the ball up toward the net over LaVine and a charging Joel Embiid.

Buckets.

“I couldn’t have dreamt it. I could not have dreamed of that moment any better than the actuality that just happened. For me to be back here, like I keep stating, 35 minutes [north] of where I grew up here in Akron, Ohio, to hit the game winner in the All-Star Game where me and my guys back in the back, we used to watch the All-Star Game,” James said, via ESPN. “I remember 25 years ago we were 12, 11, wishing that we had the opportunity or the means to come up to Cleveland and see some of the greatest basketball players of all time because they inspired us so much.

The Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, top, celebrates as the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (6) greets the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo after hitting a shot to win the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Cleveland. 

The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, top, celebrates as the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (6) greets the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo after hitting a shot to win the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Cleveland. 
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

“For me to be here today, for my best friends to be here, for my wife and my kids and my family, my mom. There are so many people that seen me grow from really a young toddler to who I am today. I couldn’t even — I couldn’t picture that moment any better.”

CURRY SETS 3-POINT RECORD, LEBRON THE WINNER IN NBA ALL-STAR GAME

Team LeBron defeated Team Durant, 163-160.

James scored 24 points and added six rebounds and eight assists.

“He wanted the ball. We all knew that he was going to shoot it,” Cavaliers guard Darius Garland said of James after the game. “Fadeaway, you know? He wanted to win for the school. That’s why he was going so hard in the fourth. That’s why everybody was going hard in the fourth. Just seeing that go in, just seeing the crowd erupt in his hometown, it was cool to see.”

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry won the All-Star Game MVP after making 16 three-pointers.

“Obviously I got the MVP; I played well the whole night. He hit the game-winner. All the history of our series and the Akron ties, and all that kind of going into how the night went, so it was pretty — can’t really draw it up any other way,” Curry said.

The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James reacts to celebrities in the front row as he plays in the first half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Cleveland.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James reacts to celebrities in the front row as he plays in the first half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Cleveland.
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Curry finished with 50 points.

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James is now 5-0 in the format in which the top vote-getters draft their own players.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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