Team LeBron beats Team Stephen in NBA All Star Game

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LeBron James picked a winner in the NBA All-Star Game. (KGO)

What if they held an NBA All Star Game and somebody played defense? It actually happened Sunday night in Los Angeles. Let's not get carried away. It wasn't like Game 7 of The Finals, but we did see steals, blocked shots and actual effort on both ends of the court.

And there was definitely real intensity in the final minutes.

"We wanted to kind of change the narrative of the All-Star Game being a joke, said Warriors forward Kevin Durant. "Today we wanted to make it a real basketball game," said KD, who had 19 points for Team LeBron.

Team LeBron defeated Team Stephen 148-145 in this new pickup style format and players seemed to like the change from the old East versus West matchups.

"It was a great change in tone for the fans," said Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, who was unable to get off a game-tying three-pointer in the final moments.

"They double-teamed me hard and pushed me to the sidelines," said Curry of the final frantic seconds.

The Warriors now have a few days off before playing the final 24 games of the regular season, starting Thursday night at Oracle Arena versus the LA Clippers.

TIP-INS

TEAM STEPHEN: DeRozan and Damian Lillard led with 21 points apiece. ... Jimmy Butler didn't play after being selected for the fourth time. ... First-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns was outstanding. The Minnesota forward with 17 points and 10 reobunds.

TEAM LEBRON: Durant scored 19 points and George added 16. ... Three first-time All-Stars suited up. Washington's Bradley Beal scored 14 points, Miami's Goran Dragic had two and Indiana's Victor Oladipo got seven.

LA LOVE
The All-Star Game featured no Lakers or Clippers, who share Staples Center during the regular season. But several All-Stars have Los Angeles roots, including area natives Paul George, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan, James Harden and Klay Thompson. George and James are coveted as offseason signings by Lakers fans, but there was no reprise of the "We want Paul!" chants for the Palmdale native after Saturday's All-Star practice.

THE ABSENT
LeBron lost four of his original selections to injuries, including Cleveland teammate Kevin Love, Kristaps Porzingis and John Wall. Anthony Davis represented his fellow New Orleans All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins, by wearing Cousins' No. 0 jersey to start the game.

HOLLYWOOD HOME GAME
The All-Star weekend was held in Hollywood for a record sixth time. A partial list of celebrities attending the game: Jack Nicholson, Beyonce, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Chadwick Boseman, Chance the Rapper, Jimmy Kimmel, Michael B. Jordan, Chris Rock, Ludacris, Common, Spike Lee, Andy Garcia, Dave Chappelle, DJ Khaled, Tracy Morgan, Sean Combs, Odell Beckham Jr. and pregame host Kevin Hart, who lobbed roast-style jokes at the All-Stars with mostly blah results. After a much-criticized pregame national anthem from Fergie, N.E.R.D and Migos performed an energizing halftime show.

MANY MISSES
The All-Stars' 3-point accuracy was hardly world-class, with Artesia High School's Harden going 2 for 13 and Leuzinger High's Westbrook going 1 for 6. Team Steph was a combined 17 for 65 beyond the arc, including 3-for-11 for Curry.

UP NEXT
The 68th NBA All-Star Game will be in Charlotte on Feb. 17, 2019. North Carolina was scheduled to host the 2017 All-Star Game, but lost it in July 2016 because of the state legislature's Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which is considered by many to be discriminatory. Hornets owner Michael Jordan got a standing ovation when he appeared at center court alongside Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer to reveal the logo for next year's game.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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