Overall, it was a record-setting affair in the East's 163-155 win over the West in New Orleans. Both teams broke the All-Star Game record for points scored with 318, Blake Griffin set a record for most field goals made with 19, and Carmelo Anthony nailed the most three-pointers in ASG history with 8.
Yes, it was an outstanding offensive performance for many of the players on both squads, and I have never been so relieved that Tony Parker had almost nothing to do with it.
With Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin both scoring 38 points for the West, it was the East's Kyrie Irving that left New Orleans with the All-Star MVP trophy scoring 18 of his 31 points in the 4th quarter. Irving put on a show at the end of the game putting his ridiculous handles on display and cutting through to the basket only to have even more impressive finishes at the hoop. He will be rewarded by going back to Cleveland to continue playing out the season with the league's most depressing team that isn't named the Bucks.
Tony Parker finished the game with 4 points (2-5 FG), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 0 re-aggravated backs, which is exactly the All-Star performance we were all looking for. In the 11 minutes of playing time he recorded, he appeared to run up and down the court gingerly, though it didn't look like he was in any sort of pain. It looked more like he had an earpiece in with Popovich on the other end telling him to ease up when he appeared to be putting forth any amount of effort or engage in strenuous activities like dribbling.
Tony's first bucket came with about 2:23 left in the first quarter on a play where he slid past Paul George on a backdoor cut and received a nice pass from Chris Paul, leading to an unchallenged reverse layup. He had another chance for a backdoor score in the second quarter, going past John Wall, but couldn't finish the floater. Parker's other score came about two minutes later after doing a "nice-and-easy" crossover at the top of the key that got him by Chris Bosh for the left-handed finish. If Bosh was actually playing defense, this move may not have made him look as silly as it did. But it was the All-Star Game, after all.
Other than a couple more easy step-back shots that were missed, that was Tony Parker's night. Coming off of a slight back injury, it was a bit surprising to see him get as much playing time as he did. In the end, he racked up more minutes than Dirk Nowitzki, Damian Lilliard, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, and hometown boy Anthony Davis.
Although his effort was low, Tony looked comfortable. His shots looked smooth and his eye for holes in the defense remained sharp. I was nervous about him playing in this game at all, but Parker handled his game smoothly and responsibly. Hopefully he can get a little rest before the west coast leg of the RRT. We're going to need all of him.