LOS ANGELES – Team LeBron upstaged Team Stephen 148-145 in the NBA All-Star Game Sunday in a thrilling duel that featured spectacular plays at both ends of the court by the game's premier players.
Team LeBron staged a second half rally and then got the defensive stops they needed late to win the mid-February classic under the new selection format after trailing by two points at the half.
Playing-captain LeBron James finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead all scorers. Cleveland Cavaliers James was also named MVP of the game for the third time in his career.
This year the league decided to go to a new format for picking the teams to try and make the games more competitive and it worked.
Under the new format, James and Stephen Curry, the top two all-star vote-getters, got to pick their teams from a pool of 22 available players. The first four picks had to come from the list of all-star starters.
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant tallied 19 points and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George delivered 16 points for Team LeBron.
Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan and Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard each scored 21 points while Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds for Team Stephen.
James scored the eventual winning basket on a finger roll layup with 34 seconds left in the fourth to make if 146-145.
After James Harden missed a three-point attempt for Team Stephen, James fed Russell Westbrook for a running layup with 10 seconds left to seal the victory.
Curry was double teamed so he passed to DeRozan who missed on a long attempt from the right corner as the buzzer sounded to end the game.