NBA All-Star weekend takeaways: Lots of points, lots of winners in Indy

NBA All-Star weekend takeaways: Lots of points, lots of winners in Indy

NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis had plenty of winners.

There was Damian Lillard, a 3-point shootout winner Saturday and the All-Star Game MVP on Sunday — a two-trophy weekend the likes of which only Michael Jordan pulled off previously. There were Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu, who made their 1-on-1 shooting contest into must-see-TV. There was Karl-Anthony Towns, the fourth player to score at least 50 in an All-Star Game.

And there are the people tasked with updating the NBA’s All-Star record book. They’ll be busy for a while after the Eastern Conference’s 211-186 victory over the Western Conference on Sunday night in the highest-scoring All-Star Game.

The league goes quiet now, at least in terms of games, until Thursday. Everyone gets a break until then, and for those who were part of the shows in Indianapolis this weekend, it’s needed.

Some takeaways from Indianapolis:


Scoring 186 points is something that only two teams in the history of the All-Star Game had done before Sunday night.

The West scored 186 — and lost by 25. Hard to say anyone would have seen that coming.

“Usually our preparation to get ready to compete, it looks a lot different than it looks when we come here,” Lillard said. “This weekend was a lot better than the past, but I think when the game is any type of loose, if it’s not a game where you’ve got a scouting report and you’re locked in and a lot is on the line, then guys who are too talented and are going to make a lot of 3s. That’s the kind of game it’s going to be.”


For many, what happened Saturday night — Curry beating Ionescu — will be the highlight of All-Star weekend. Television ratings for All-Star Saturday were up by a huge margin and that would seem to indicate that adding the Steph vs. Sabrina matchup captivated tons of people who simply didn’t care enough to watch last year.

Curry beat the New York Liberty star and reigning WNBA 3-point queen 29-26 in their head-to-head 3-point matchup.

With next season’s All-Star Game in San Francisco — where Curry plays and the area where Ionescu is from — they are likely to part of Saturday night again. They’re already talking about a team matchup and adding partners; it might be even more cool if Curry and Ionescu team up to take on another NBA-WNBA pair. Stay tuned.


It hasn’t been an easy first season for Lillard in Milwaukee. The Bucks haven’t kicked into high gear, have had three coaches already – Adrian Griffin for 43 games, then Joe Prunty as an interim and now Doc Rivers – and there have been times where Milwaukee doesn’t look like a team that can stop anybody.

But this weekend could put some serious spring in their step.

“We’ve been teammates for 50 games, so four, five months,” Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “Now, as I said, game by game, day by day, we’re getting closer, chemistry is getting better. Hopefully we can get to a place that we can lead the other guys to the goal that we’ve set in the beginning of the year.”


Make no mistake: Tyrese Haliburton is absolutely the face of the Pacers, and quite possibly for basketball in basketball-crazed Indiana.

He was a perfect host for the league’s showcase weekend, from showing up in an Indy car to the kickoff party, to happily doing roughly a billion interviews over four days, and then making five 3-pointers in a 1:32 span during the All-Star Game.

“His teammates love him. Fans love him. I’m excited to watch his career going forward because I know he’s going to do some incredible things here in Indiana,” Phoenix forward Kevin Durant said. “But just for the game of basketball as a whole, you can tell he’s one of those point guards that the next generation, kids in elementary school, middle school kids will be looking up to.”


The All-Star Game was the first one in NBA history where every player on both teams had at least one rebound and one assist.

On stat night, that sort of made sense.

“I just wanted to cherish this moment and make the most of it,” said Towns, who joined Jayson Tatum (55 in 2023), Anthony Davis (52 in 2017) and Stephen Curry (50 in 2022) as the only players to score 50 in an All-Star Game.