East win NBA All-Star Game
LeBron James and Ray Allen surge late to lift the East over the West.
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2008 06:37 GMT

LeBron James, centre, dunks over Dirk Nowitzki to seal another All-Star victory for the East [EPA]

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers forward, and Ray Allen, Boston Celtics guard, starred in the closing stages of the NBA All-Star Game as the Eastern Conference defeated their Western rivals 134-128 in New Orleans.
Allen, a late All-Star substitute for the injured Caron Butler, scored 14 of his 28 points in the final four minutes of the match while James recorded 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds to win the Most Valuable Player award for the second time in three years.
"We really wanted this win," James said.

"To add the MVP trophy with the win means a lot to me. Competitive-wise, it was the best one.

"You could probably see on all the guys' faces in the fourth quarter how bad we all wanted it."

The West fell behind 95-79 in the third quarter but Chris Paul and Amare Stoudemire ignited a comeback, Dallas Mavericks' German forward Dirk Nowitzki gaving the West their first lead at 112-110 with 6:52 to play, completing a 17-2 West run.

However Allen, an eight-time All-Star, turned the game from 3-point range when it mattered most, hitting three 3-pointers to finish 5-of-9 from beyond the arc and adding a layup and three free throws in the final seconds to secure victory.

Allen on fire

"It has probably been my best All-Star Game," Allen said.

"I was feeling good out there. I knew I was going to get some good shots off. It was just a matter of whether or not I made them."

Allen made shot after shot to keep the game tight, setting the stage for the final drama.

"Ray just got hot. I couldn't believe how hot he was." 

Amare Stoudemire
"Ray just got hot. I couldn't believe how hot he was," said Stoudemire.

"We came up with an incredible run in the fourth quarter but Ray kept them in the game."

After Allen's trio of 3-pointers, James put the East ahead for good with a drive to the basket for a slam dunk over two defenders with 55 seconds to play.

"I wanted to try and be aggressive, go to the hole and try to get a foul or a layup," James said.

"I saw those bigs and I didn't want to pull up. I wanted to go strong and I was able to dunk it through.

"We did a good job of executing. Ray hit some of the biggest shots of the game and I put the finishing touch on it with the dunk."

The victory, which was the third for the East in four years, lifted their record over the West in the all-time rivalry to 35-22.

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