At half time of the All Star Game at Staples Center, the West has expanded their lead to twelve points, 76 to 64. The quarter was, as you would expect in an All Star Game, very high scoring, with the West enjoying a slight 39 to 37 edge.
The quarter had a decidedly LA feel. Former UCLA teammates Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook made their first appearances of the game, alongside Blake Griffin of the Clippers to begin the quarter. Westbrook even had the highlight of the game for a time, with a nasty power dunk (can we get this guy in the dunk contest please?) But he lost the honor to his Thunder teammate Kevin Durant a minute before the half, when Chris Paul snuck along the baseline after a steal and slipped a sneaky lob pass to KD for a massive jam. Durant has 15 first half points.
A couple of other LA guys acquitted themselves well too. Kobe Bryant is well on his way to his record-tying fourth All Star Game game MVP, with 21 first half points. As if that weren’t enough, he also has a game high 6 rebounds and 3 steals! Pau Gasol is also playing very well, and finished the half with 12 points on 6 for 6 shooting. For his part, Griffin might be on his way to a triple double – if only he could get some minutes. At the half, he has 6 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, in just 8 minutes of court time. His four assists is only one shy of the game-high honors, currently shared by Chris Paul of the West and Rajon Rondo of the East. Griffin has made three of four shots, two of them dunks.
For the East, Chris Bosh is leading the way with 12 points, and Dwyane Wade and Amare Stoudemire have 10 apiece. The East is actually shooting slightly better, at 50% for the game, compared to the West’s 47%, but the West is enjoying a significant advantage on the boards, and has taken better care of the ball so far. The West has nine steals at the break, and the East has none. That makes a difference.