Russell Westbrook wins second straight All-Star Game MVP award
For the second straight year, Russell Westbrook took home NBA All-Star Game MVP honors as the Western Conference logged a record-setting 196-173 win over the East on Sunday.
Westbrook outshines Kobe with another MVP Kevin Pelton hands out his grades for a record-setting All-Star Game, which included another MVP performance from Russell Westbrook.
The NBA celebrated Kobe Bryant's last All-Star game with a point-scoring bonanza. Stats & Info takes a look at the highlights. In an edition that toppled last year's mark for total points, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard poured in a team-high 31 points and filled the rest of the stat sheet with eight rebounds, five assists and five steals in 22 minutes.
Westbrook told ESPN's Sage Steele after the game that he was surprised to win the award.
"I was honestly surprised I won it again," Westbrook said. "I was very surprised to have my name called. I'm happy and blessed to be in the game again and for the opportunity."
Westbrook garnered six of a possible 12 MVP votes, with Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant -- playing in his 18th and final All-Star Game -- each taking two. Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry each earned one. All Westbrook's votes came from media voters, while both of Bryant's votes originated from the Twitter fan vote, of which there were three.
George scored a game-high 41 points, including burying nine 3-pointers, and fell two points shy of Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record of 42 points.
In last year's 163-158 West win in New York, Westbrook registered 41 points as a reserve and set an All-Star Game record for points in a half by scoring 27 in the first half.
Westbrook is the first player in All-Star Game history to win outright back-to-back MVP awards. He joins Bob Pettit as the only players in All-Star Game history to win twice in a row. Pettit won the award in 1958 and shared it with Elgin Baylor in 1959.