CLEVELAND — Golden State’s Steph Curry might not be Akron, Ohio’s favorite native NBA player. That title belongs to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
But in Sunday’s All-Star Game, Curry’s star shone brightest with a phenomenal display of 3-point shooting.
Curry scored a game-high 50 points and set an NBA All-Star Game record with 16 made 3s. He also set a record for made 3s in a quarter with seven in the third in typical Steph fashion — deep 3s and turning around to go play defense before the ball went through the hoop.
Curry was named MVP of the All-Star Game for the first time in his career after leading Team LeBron to a 163-160 victory over Team Durant. Curry received the newly redesigned Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP Award trophy that is an homage to Bryant’s jersey numbers, MVPs, All-Star MVPs, championships and Finals MVPs.
75TH ANNIVERSARY TEAM: NBA gathers greatest players in league history
“This is definitely special,” Curry said. “The first year you got to honor Kobe and his life and his legacy with this trophy. All the thought that went into it. I can’t spit it off the top I my head, but I know that everything on this trophy means something in terms of his life and what he represented, accomplishments on the court, and to have it be an All-Star MVP trophy and for it to be the first one, it definitely makes it special.
“I’ve only won one, and to have this one, it will have a special place at my house.”
Using the Elam Ending to finish the game by reaching a targeted score of 163 points, Team LeBron outscored Team Durant 25-21 the fourth quarter and James finished the game with a fadeaway jumper for the victory.
“I played well the whole night. He hit the game-winner,” Curry said. “All the history of our series and the Akron ties, and all that kind of going into how the night went, so it was pretty. Can’t really draw it up any other way. It’s right on the nose of how it should go.”
James, who had 24 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals, knows how to pick All-Star teams — he’s now 5-0 since the NBA began using the leading vote-getters from each conference to serve as captains and pick their teams.
Curry started the day eight 3s behind James Harden (39 total) for most 3s made in NBA All-Star history. By the midway point of the third quarter, he had surpassed Harden and James, who made a 3 earlier in the game to tie Harden.
“I mean, Steph, come on, man. This guy is from a different planet,” James said. “He literally has an automatic sniper connected to his arm, and when he lets it go, not only himself, but everybody on the floor, in the stands, on TV, on their phones, whatever you are watching on, you think it’s going in every time. Nine times out of 10 and sometimes 10 times out of 10 it does go in.
“To be out there and watch that kid from Akron as well shoot the ball the way he shot it, it was unbelievable. It was pretty cool.”
During pregame introductions, the pro-Cleveland crowd booed Curry, who prevented Cleveland from winning more titles when James’ Cavs played Curry’s Warriors in the Finals from 2015-18.
With each made 3, they began cheering, especially when Curry’s success meant success for James.
“It obviously means there’s history here, and the fans I think appreciate it, but it comes out in the form of boos, and I enjoy it because it’s not the first time, not the last time,” Curry said. “And it takes some energy to boo, so you got to care a lot to do that.
“I tried to channel that into the performance tonight and just have fun with it. I got hot early and kept it going, and tried to put on a little bit of a show. The joy started to come out, and hopefully everybody appreciated it.”
Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.