Los Angeles, February 17: Team LeBron defeated Team Giannis 157-155 in the revamped NBA All-Star Game in Chicago on Sunday (February 16).
Unlike previous years, every quarter counted in the name of charity at the United Center, where the new format was unveiled for the showpiece event.
Each of the first three quarters started with the score at 0-0 and lasted the standard 12 minutes, with the game clock turned off for the final period and a final target score set.
The cumulative score of the first three quarters was 133-124 in favour of Team Giannis. The final target score was set by taking the leading team's cumulative score and adding 24 – the 24 representing Kobe Bryant's jersey number.
LeBron James and his team earned bragging rights in the 69th edition of the All-Star Game – hometown hero and Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis (20 points) making one of two free throws to beat Giannis Antetokounmpo's side.
While Davis scored the winning point, Kawhi Leonard (30 points) received the All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award, renamed in honour of the five-time NBA champion.
Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others last month, was honoured prior to tip-off.
Magic Johnson led an eight-second moment of silence for Lakers legend Bryant and former commissioner David Stern as both All-Star teams came together to hold hands, before delivering a heartfelt speech.
Team LeBron made a fast start, outscoring Team Giannis 53-41 in the first period before the latter won the second period 51-30.
Neither team could be split in the third, though Team Giannis went into the fourth quarter leading Team LeBron – who rallied to win for the third successive year.
James and Chris Paul finished with 23 points each, while Ben Simmons (17) and James Harden (11) were also in double-digits for Team LeBron.
Team Giannis were led by Antetokounmpo (25 points, 11 rebounds), Joel Embiid (22 points, 10 rebounds), Kemba Walker (23 points) and Rudy Gobert (21 points, 11 rebounds).