Team LeBron remains undefeated in All-Star Game

Team LeBron forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (left) of the Milwaukee Bucks and Team LeBron guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrate their 170-150 win over Team Durant in the NBA All-Star game Sunday, March 7, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Credit: CURTIS COMPTON / AJC

Credit: CURTIS COMPTON / AJC

Team LeBron forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (left) of the Milwaukee Bucks and Team LeBron guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrate their 170-150 win over Team Durant in the NBA All-Star game Sunday, March 7, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Even in the strangest NBA All-Star Game of them all, LeBron James was still the perfect captain.

Team LeBron showed off its high-flying and long-range skills during a dominating run to close out the first half, setting up a 170-150 romp over Team Durant in the league’s 70th midseason showcase Sunday night.

This one sure was different than the previous 69 All-Star contests.

Once the game began, it fell right in line with the three previous All-Star outings with the captain format. The top vote-getters in each conference pick the teams, a duty that James has earned all four years.

He’s now 4-0, having defeated Stephen Curry’s squad in 2018 and teams selected by Milwaukee’s two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo the last two years.

This time, James drafted his two former adversaries to assemble a dominant squad that blew away Kevin Durant’s team.

Antetokounmpo was the game MVP after shooting 16 of 16 for 35 points. Curry chipped in with 28 points, while Damian Lillard had 32. James spent most of the night admiring his drafting skill, playing less than 13 minutes and finishing with four points.

The only good thing for Durant: He didn’t have to participate in this shellacking, sitting out the game with an ailing hamstring.

Team Durant guard Bradley Beal (center) of the Washington Wizards attempts a shot against Team LeBron's guard Luka Doncic (left) of the Dallas Mavericks, and center Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets in the second half Sunday, March 7, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Credit: CURTIS COMPTON / AJC

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Credit: CURTIS COMPTON / AJC

Bradley Beal led Team Durant with 26 points.

On a night highlighting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Team LeBron swept the first three quarters and was first to reach the final target score, earning a total of $750,000 for its charity, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

The game got out of hand late in the second quarter.

With scant defense being played, Team LeBron took turns dunking off alley-oop passes. Chris Paul delivered back-to-back lobs that Lillard and Curry slammed through. Then, it was Paul on the receiving end of a payback pass from Curry.

After showing they could handle shots up close, Team LeBron headed outside in the final seconds of the half.

Lillard pulled up for a 3-pointer from the half-court line. Not to be outdone, Curry knocked down one from virtually the same spot.

This All-Star Game was a one-night-only event, with a pair of skill competitions held shortly before the game and the Dunk Contest squeezed into the halftime break. The players flew in Saturday afternoon and were largely confined to a nearby hotel except for their time on the court.

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