Indiana Pacers guard Paul George scored the first two points of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on an alley oop dunk. 277 points later, PG and his teammates on Team Chuck lead wire-to-wire to beat Team Shaq 146-133.
Of course, this was an All-Star game by nearly every measure so it was a fun showcase with a talented group of young NBA players showing their wares. Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers absolutely torched the nets making 8 of 8 three-point shots to score 34 points and win the game's MVP award.
PG had his moments to shine, as well finishing with 23 points including a few alley oop dunks and a quick "elbow dunk" late in the game when the blowout turned the game into a highlight tryout. PG did have a couple of All-Star "lapses" when he simply made the smart play as opposed to feeding the highlight machine. After a steal, PG found himself with the ball and no defense but instead of slowing down and setting up a dunk, he cruised in for a layup. Then in the second half, PG went up to block a dunk attempt that was seemed to shock everyone.
Gordon Hayward had a couple of sweet dunks and nice blocked shots, as the former Butler star joined PG on Team Chuck. Announcers Kevin Harlan and Kenny Smith referenced Hayward's home town as "Brownsville" Indiana for about five minutes, repeating it several times before someone finally let Harlan know it was Brownsburg, Indiana.
Good times and great to see the Pacers represented on all three nights of All-Star action. Hopefully PG comes out a winner again on Saturday night in the Slam Dunk Competition.