Bruins are best of the best — Russell Westbrook’s record-setting performance in the NBA All-Star Game nets him the MVP Award, after rookie Zach Lavine stuffs all the competition on his way to claiming the Slam Dunk Championship
Two NBA Trophies, two UCLA recipients. This weekend, besides being Valentine’s Day Weekend, President’s Day Weekend, SNL 40th Anniversary Weekend, and 50 Shades of Grey Premiere Weekend, it was also NBA All-Star Weekend. And with the greatest stars of the NBA all gathered at Madison Square Garden in New York, it was two Bruins rising — literally — above all the rest.
In the prestigious annual Slam Dunk Contest, it was Bruin Zach Lavine wowing the crowd and all his fellow all-stars, with mind-boggling displays of athleticism and dexterity, including a behind-the-back ball move while in mid-air culminating with a wicked slam. Lavine’s near-perfect overall score gave him the easy victory over the also-impressive Victor Oladipo and all other contestants.
On Sunday, it was time for the main event, and UCLA’s Russell Westbrook dominated. Despite not starting, Westy scored an all-time record for a half 27 points in the first half, on his way to 41 for the game, in only 26 minutes of playing time! Westbrook’s 41 just missed Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time record of 42, set 53 years ago. Only Chamberlain and Michael Jordan had scored 40 or more in an All-Star Game — not bad company for Russell.
Westbrook not only led all scorers, with an array of three-pointers and alley-oop dunks where his head was higher than the rim, but he also led the WEST team to a 163-158 victory over the East, in the highest combined scoring game ever.
It almost goes without saying, but… no trojans played in the All-Star Game. Just one more sign that UCLA owns this town, like they owned NYC this weekend.