Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell didn’t try to do too much in his 1st career NBA All-Star Game appearance in Charlotte, playing 12 minutes in the game.
As one of five point guards on the Team Giannis roster and playing in his first All-Star Game, D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets did pretty well with his limited run Sunday night in Charlotte.
The 22-year-old guard, Brooklyn’s first All-Star since Joe Johnson in 2014, played 12 minutes Sunday night and scored six points with three assists and a rebound, hitting 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and was off the floor for Team LeBron’s big comeback in the third quarter.
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Team LeBron came back from 20 points down in the third quarter to post a 178-164 win in the 68th NBA All-Star Game at Spectrum Center, with the teams setting or matching a handful of All-Star Game records in the process.
Team Giannis tied a mark with a 53-point first quarter, matching the record for points in a quarter set initially in 2016 by the West All-Stars and tied the following year by the East All-Stars.
The 35 3-pointers made and 90 deep attempts by Team LeBron set a new All-Star Game record, as did the 62 combined makes and 167 3-point attempts from both teams.
Russell made his first appearance with 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter, entering in place of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, and picked on an assist on one of the two 3-pointers that special All-Star selection Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks made to close out the period.
Russell played nearly six minutes of the second quarter, missing his only shot attempt of the first half and picking up another assist, checking out with 6:09 left in the half in favor of Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons.
He did add a second assist on a Nowitzki 3-pointer, as the 40-year-old in his 21st season and 14th All-Star game hit all three of his deep attempts in his final, four-minute All-Star cameo.
Team Giannis went to the break with a 95-82 lead, leaving many to speculate that the record of 196 points set by the East All-Stars at Toronto in 2016 could be in jeopardy.
Russell didn’t return to the game until the start of the fourth quarter, with team LeBron leading 132-131 after trailing 109-89 with 9:55 remaining in the third period.
He knocked down his first shot of the game, taking a feed from Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic and draining an above-the-break 3 from the left side.
Russell missed his next attempt, from very deep, but knocked down another with 8:54 remaining off another assist from Vucevic.
His last attempt with 8:34 left was off the mark. He did pick up his third assist, setting up a 3-pointer by Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
Russell checked out with 6:43 remaining in favor of Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers as Team Giannis coach Mike Budenholzer inserted the other four starters to join Curry on the floor for the closing push.
Russell’s performance was pretty typical for a first-time All-Star — limited run and a lot of deference to the other stars on the floor.
Of the first-timers in the game, Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks made the biggest splash, scoring 20 points in 22 minutes after being the first reserve selected by teammate and team captain Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Team LeBron starter Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors wound up with his second All-Star Game MVP award, scoring 31 points with seven rebounds and two blocks on 10-of-15 shooting, hitting 6-of-9 from long range.
Golden State teammate Klay Thompson added 20 points for Team LeBron, while Kyrie Irving notched 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers had 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting to go with seven assists.
Team captain LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers went for 19 points and had a pair of blocks.
Antetokounmpo had a game-high 38 points with 11 rebounds and five assists for Team Giannis. Middleton had 20 points, as did Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who also added three steals. Embiid finished with 10 pounds and 12 rebounds.
Kemba Walker of the host Charlotte Hornets finished with a game-high eight assists, but scored only four points on 2-of-8 shooting. Curry had 17 points and seven dimes.
Shockingly, there were a lot of shots put up in this one. Team LeBron hit 50.4 percent overall (68-for-135) and was 35-for-90 from 3-point range (38.9 percent), notching assists on 42 of their makes.
Team Giannis ended the night at 47.1 percent overall (66-for-140) and hit 27-of-77 from deep (35.1 percent), notching 43 assists in the process. There were a combined 21 turnovers in the game, 12 by Team Giannis.
Russell’s 12 minutes on Sunday capped a big All-Star weekend for Brooklyn. Rodions Kurucs scored 10 points and Jarrett Allen blocked a Ben Simmons dunk in Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge and Joe Harris out-dueled Stephen Curry to win the Three-Point Contest on Saturday night.
After the All-Star Game, Russell was complimentary of his teammates’ performance during the weekend.
The NBA will remain shut down for the next three days before play resumes Thursday with six games, including the Nets hosting the Portland Trail Blazers at Barclays Center to begin their final 23-game stretch of the regular season.