Lillard named MVP in East’s 211-186 win over West in 2024 NBA All-Star Game

Led by Lillard’s 39 points, the Eastern Conference shattered the record for most points by a team in an All-Star Game.

Eastern Conference guard Damian Lillard (0) of the Milwaukee Bucks speaks to the media following his Most Valuable Player performance [Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports]

Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard scored 39 points and drained 11 3-pointers to lead the Eastern Conference to a record-setting 211-186 win over the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis.

Lillard, 33, was named NBA All-Star Game MVP, the most valuable player, for the first time for his performance at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday night.

The Eastern Conference shattered the record for most points by a team in an All-Star Game. The previous mark was 196 points, which late Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant and the Western Conference notched during the 2016 All-Star Game.

“I just know you’ve got to keep shooting the ball and I think in a game like this, it’s going to be pretty loose and you’re going to get your opportunities,” Lillard said after the game.

“I just told myself I’m going to be aggressive and I’m going to keep firing. I saw a couple go in and after that it was just like I’m going after it.”

At times, it seemed he couldn’t miss and nothing was out of his shooting range.

The eight-time All-Star’s first 3 came from the NBA logo. In the third quarter, he hit a pull-up 3 from half-court before capping the night with a second half-court 3 late in the game.

Lillard finished his first appearance with the East by going 14 of 26 from the field and 11 of 23 on 3s for a team that broke the All-Star Game records for total points and 3s with 42.

The contest was dominated by three-pointers and dunks, as neither side devoted much energy or attention to defence.

The Eastern Conference shot 56.8 percent (83-for-146) from the field and 43.3 percent (42-for-97) from three-point range. The Western Conference shot 55.9 percent (80-for-143) overall and 35.2 percent (25-for-71) from beyond the arc.

Feb 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Eastern Conference guard Damian Lillard (0) of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball during the second half of the 73rd NBA All Star game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Damian Lillard dunks the ball during the second half of the 73rd NBA All-Star game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse [Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports]

History-maker James hopeful of ending career at Lakers

LeBron James made history by playing in his 20th All-Star Game. The 39-year-old surpassed fellow Los Angeles Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who earned 19 selections.

The career milestone did not equate to a memorable performance on the court for James. He finished with eight points on 4-for-10 shooting, and he missed all three of his 3-point attempts.

However, James said he still wants to participate in the Paris Olympics this summer and that he would like to see his playing days end as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

James is 39, having played more minutes than anyone in NBA history. If he comes back for a 22nd season – as he intends to – he will tie Vince Carter for the NBA record in that department. He insists that he does not know how long he wants to play, either.

“I told myself before the season, when I committed to being part of the Olympic team, obviously it was all predicated on my health,” James said.

“As it stands right now, I am healthy enough to be on the team and perform at a level that I know I can perform at.”

The three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medallist said he is “committed to Team USA”.

He is 132 points away from reaching 40,000 for his regular-season career, which means he is likely somewhere about five games from hitting that milestone.

“I have not mapped out how many seasons I have left,” James said. “I know it’s not that many.”

James said he is “very happy” in Los Angeles.

“I am a Laker and I’m happy and been very happy being a Laker the last six years and hopefully it stays that way,” James said. “But I don’t have the answer to how long it is or which uniform I’ll be in. Hopefully [it] is with the Lakers.”

Source: News Agencies