Friday, June 22, 2018
Sports

West sends Bryant out a winner

TORONTO — Russell Westbrook scored 31 to earn his second straight All-Star MVP, and the Western Conference set an All-Star record for points with a 196-173 victory over the East on Sunday.

Kobe Bryant scored 10 on 4-of-11 shooting while playing in his 18th and final All-Star Game. Chris Paul had 14 points and 16 assists for the West. Bryant left the game to a standing ovation with 1:06 to play.

Pacers forward Paul George led all scorers with 41 points for the East, one off Wilt Chamberlain's record set in 1962.

The high for points had been 163, done twice. The West surpassed that with about eight minutes to play in the game.

But the night was all about Bryant.

First came a pregame tribute that included two videos.

With the NBA calling his career brilliant, there was first a video that showed clips of some of Bryant's best moments — starting with his draft-night selection, an array of dunks, a famous lob to Shaquille O'Neal in a playoff win over the Trail Blazers, some winning shots, his defensive intensity and even some images of his Olympic play.

And yes, there was a mention of his 81-point game against Toronto, probably to the dismay of the home crowd.

After the first video, Magic Johnson took the microphone to laud Bryant even further and eventually introduce a second tape of Bryant's moments, with the retiring Lakers great narrating parts of it and other All-Stars offering him words of thanks.

Bryant then addressed the crowd as they chanted his name at a deafening level. He said he has "been extremely fortunate to play the game I love and be in the NBA for more than half my life."

He ended his remarks by saying, "Thank you so much — and now I've got to go get loose."

Before the game, Warriors star Stephen Curry told Bryant that he planned to accumulate a ton of assists by feeding the ball to Bryant as often as possible. Bryant essentially advised Curry to pump the brakes.

"You're going to pass the ball at the All-Star Game?" Bryant, 37, recalled telling Curry. "Are you crazy?"

Bryant still delights in the public's adoration, But he seemed aware that the spotlight would find him regardless of what he was capable of doing on the court — which, this season, has been far less than it once was.

"You get a chance to enjoy it a little bit after having 19 years where you're just completely, completely focused and immersed in competition," he said. "To have one year where you relax and soak it in feels good."

West 196, East 173

WEST: Bryant 4-11 1-2 10, Leonard 8-15 0-0 17, Durant 11-18 0-0 23, Westbrook 12-23 0-0 31, Curry 10-18 0-0 26, Thompson 3-11 0-0 9, Harden 8-14 0-0 23, Davis 12-13 0-0 24, Paul 5-7 0-0 14, Aldridge 2-8 0-0 4, Green 2-6 0-0 4, Cousins 5-5 0-0 11. Totals 82-149 1-2 196.

EAST: James 6-13 0-0 13, George 16-26 0-0 41, Anthony 6-11 0-0 13, Lowry 5-13 0-0 14, Wade 4-7 0-0 8, DeRozan 9-15 0-1 18, Wall 10-14 0-0 22, Millsap 1-6 0-0 3, Thomas 4-11 0-0 9, Gasol 3-7 3-4 9, Drummond 8-11 0-0 16, Horford 3-3 0-0 7. Totals 75-137 3-5 173.

West All-Stars 40 52 53 51— 196

East All-Stars 43 47 46 37— 173

3-Point GoalsWest All-Stars 31-80 (Harden 7-12, Westbrook 7-17, Curry 6-13, Paul 4-6, Thompson 3-10, Cousins 1-1, Bryant 1-5, Leonard 1-6, Durant 1-8, Green 0-1, Aldridge 0-1), East All-Stars 20-59 (George 9-19, Lowry 4-12, Wall 2-4, Horford 1-1, Millsap 1-2, Thomas 1-5, Anthony 1-5, James 1-5, Drummond 0-1, Wade 0-1, Gasol 0-1, DeRozan 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsWest All-Stars 65 (Westbrook 8), East All-Stars 67 (Drummond 13). AssistsWest All-Stars 51 (Paul 16), East All-Stars 34 (Lowry 10). Total FoulsWest All-Stars 8, East All-Stars 8. A18,298 (19,800).

Comments
Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

OMAHA, Neb. — JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night....
Updated: 7 hours ago
Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

More than a year ago, Kevin Knox stepped across the stage at the Straz Center to receive his high school diploma.On Thursday, the former Tampa Catholic star was on basketball's biggest stage as he fulfilled his lifelong goal of making the NBA.Knox wa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Raysí Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Raysí Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 22

TODAYBaseballYankees at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMDodgers at Mets7 p.m.MLBMarlins at Rockies8:30 p.m.FSFCFLWinnipeg at Montreal7 p.m.ESPN2College baseball, World SeriesMississippi State vs. Oregon State3 p.m.ESPNArkansas vs. Florida8 p.m.ESPNHorsesRoy...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

The NFL will suspend Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston three games without pay to start the regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The suspension could be increased if he fails to meet certain undisclosed requirements expect...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

TAMPA — The news of Jameis Winston's suspension to start this season likely means the Bucs will have veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick stepping in at quarterback for the first three games of the regular season.Fitzpatrick took over as the starter for th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

NHL schedules all balance out at the end, but the Lightning will open 2018-19 with five straight home games and end the season with its last four on the road.The Lightning released its schedule Thursday evening for the upcoming season, with all sorts...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

The Lightning doesn't have a first-round pick in this weekend's draft, but that's not to say the weekend couldn't be busy for general manager Steve Yzerman and his front office.The Lightning sent its top draft pick to the Rangers in February as part ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Trade him. Waive him. Cut him.Whatever.Just get rid of him.Jameis Winston should never play another game for the Tampa Bay Bucs.Plain and simple, he's a bad guy and the Bucs should have nothing more to do with him.He already will miss the first three...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves heís up to speed on bases

Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves heís up to speed on bases

ST. PETERSBURG – Rookie 1B Jake Bauers has impressed at the plate and in the field since his June 7 promotion.Also, with his hustling on the bases."I knew he played hard; everybody said that at every level,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I di...
Updated: 10 hours ago