Kevin Durant OKC charity exhibition basketball game a success

Kevin Durant

Two-time scoring champion Kevin Durant can still fill up a stat sheet, Chris Paul can still orchestrate a team and LeBron James is still a highlight waiting to happen.

What they haven’t been able to do is find a deal with the NBA that they find acceptable enough to play real games again.

The All-Stars all took part in a charity exhibition game Sunday night in Oklahoma City, with hometown hero Durant recording a triple-double with 42 points, 26 rebounds and 11 assists to lead his team to a 176-171 victory in overtime.

Durant and a star-studded White team including James and Westbrook overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to beat a Blue team that featured Anthony and Paul.

James had three buckets—a pair of layups and a left-handed jam—in a 20-2 fourth-quarter run that put the White team ahead for the first time since the opening period. Durant finished it off with a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 152-143.

Harden answered with back-to-back 3-pointers before Beasley’s fast-break dunk during a string of eight straight Blue points, and Harden hit another 3 from the top of the key for a 159-158 lead with 54.3 seconds left.

Durant answered with a 3 from the left wing with 30.4 seconds left, and Anthony’s layup with 13.1 seconds remaining sent it to overtime tied at 161.

Durant missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the game went to overtime. James put the White team ahead to stay with back-to-back jumpers early in the extra period.

Paul was the playmaker early on, dishing out 13 assists in the first quarter — more than one per minute. He zoomed past Durant for a layup, set up a pair of dunks by Beasley and just kept orchestrating the Blue offense. His last assist of the quarter came on a bounce pass that skipped high into the air for a James Harden alley-oop dunk, and then he finished off the period with a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded.

— Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

In a game featuring Durant, LeBron, Melo, Westbrook and Paul, would you believe me if I told you that Michael Beasley was the game’s top scorer? Be-Easy, as Rawls called him throughout the night, dropped a game-high 56 points and did it on an absurdly-efficient 25-for-35 from the field. But here’s something to keep in mind: Beasley did almost all of that during the first three quarters, when the game was an up-and-down, no-defense affair. When the game got serious in the final 11 minutes (including overtime), Beasley, who was on the floor, didn’t score, much less shoot.

The preferred shot of choice in this game? The 3. Of the 278 field goal attempts, 82 came from behind the 3-point arc (the Blue team finished 14-for-41 from 3, while the White was 13-for-41). The best shooter was Carmelo, who went 5-for-9 from deep. The biggest chuckers, though? Durant (7-for-17 from 3) and Harden (6-for-17) who went a combined 13-34 from deep.

Chris Paul had 25 assists for the game. While that number alone might impress you, consider this: He had 13 — yes, 13 — in the first eight minutes of the game. And they weren’t just easy alley-oops or drop-offs to Melo for a dunk. CP3 busted out an array of maneuvers and no-look passes to pile up his assists.

— Reported by Royce young of ESPN TrueHoop



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