Kenneth Faried had 40 points and 10 rebounds and entertained the crowd at the end with a series of dunks, leading Team Chuck to a 163-135 victory over Team Shaq in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.
Faried, in his second season with Denver, made 18 of 22 shots and was selected the game’s most valuable player. He’ll compete Saturday night in the dunk contest at All-Star Weekend and offered a sneak preview of what he has planned with a series of powerful jams.
For the second straight year, the rosters of both teams were a mix of rookie and second-year players and former stars Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley served as opposing general managers.
Sacramento point guard Isaiah Thomas had 18 points and 10 assists for Barkley’s team. Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving, last year’s MVP, scored 32 points and rookie Dion Waiters, Irving’s Cavs’ teammate, added 23 for Shaq’s team.
The average score of the game over the past five seasons was 138-131, and New Orleans rookie Anthony Davis set the tone with an alley-oop pass to San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard for a dunk 20 seconds into the game.
Barkley’s team finished virtually all of their first-half possessions with uncontested 3-pointers or dunks and led 90-66 at halftime.
Team Chuck went 12 for 18 from 3-point range in the first half and Thomas hit his first four tries. Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson was the only player on Barkley’s team who didn’t hit a 3 in the half, but he made up for it with four dunks.
– Reported by Chris Duncan of the Associated Press
With Kenneth Faried, Kawhi Leonard, Tristan Thompson and Nikola Vucevic fronting a dominating performance in the paint, Team Chuck ran roughshod over Team Shaq, rolling to a 163-135 victory to kick off NBA All-Star Weekend on Friday night at Toyota Center. Faried, the Nuggets’ indefatigable second-year power forward, scored 19 of his 40 points in a runaway first half to earn MVP honors. Faried amassed a variety of dunks along with a surprising 3-pointer to help stake Team Chuck to its 90-66 halftime lead. And when Faried wasn’t assaulting the rim, Leonard, Thomson and Vucevic filled in ably.
“I came out with the intent to put on a performance,” Faried said. “But I wasn’t thinking MVP type of performance. I was just thinking about winning the game and enjoying myself. And pretty much enjoying the game. I love to play.”
Thompson and Vucevic, second-year big men representing the Cavaliers and the Magic, respectively, combined to score 35 points on 15-for-18 shooting. Leonard, the Spurs’ multifaceted albeit overlooked small forward, displayed the all-around skills, posting 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
– Reported by the Sports Xchange