East All-Stars 76, West All-Stars 69

Dallas native Chris Bosh had 10 points and eight rebounds to

help push the East to a 76-69 halftime lead over the West in the

NBA All-Star game being played before the largest basketball crowd

ever Sunday night.

There was a much different atmosphere for the second NBA

All-Star game played in the Dallas area. The other was played only

weeks before Bosh’s second birthday.

In 1986, a crowd of 16,573 filled Reunion Arena, the downtown

Dallas venue that was demolished last year.

More than 90,000 tickets were sold for this game in the $1.2

billion Cowboys Stadium – and the place was packed. The stadium

opened last summer in Arlington, a city of more than 370,000

located between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Bosh, who plays for Toronto, entered the game midway through the

first quarter with a dunk that put the East ahead. After both sides

traded baskets for a couple of minutes, Bosh put his team ahead

again with a left-handed putback slam over Dallas Mavericks star

Dirk Nowitzki.

LeBron James and Dwight Howard had 11 points each for the East

squad, while Dwyane Wade had 10 points and six assists.

Carmelo Anthony led the West with 17 points and eight rebounds,

while Nowitzki had eight points. Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash,

Nowitzki’s teammate in Dallas from 1998-2004, had seven

assists.

Nash had five assists in the first six minutes of the game,

including consecutive baskets by Anthony that put the West up 16-9.

The West scored the game’s first six points, Nowitzki getting the

first two baskets.

Nash assisted on another Anthony basket before Bosh’s

rim-rattling entry into the game.

Howard then helped pushed the East ahead for the first time,

hitting a 3-pointer, blocking a shot by Anthony and then adding a

three-point play with a slam dunk and a free throw. Wade then had a

steal that led to James’ layup that made it 17-16.

Boston’s Paul Pierce, who won the 3-Point Shootout on Saturday

night, hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first quarter to

push the East ahead 37-34.

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, the co-MVPs of last year’s

game, which the West won 145-119 in Phoenix, did not play in this

one.

Bryant was voted in as a starter but didn’t play because of a

sore left ankle that forced him to miss the Los Angeles Lakers’

last three games. O’Neal wasn’t selected to the Eastern Conference

team.

When Bryant declared himself out of the game, Nowitzki was

installed as the starter and Mavericks guard Jason Kidd was added

to the roster.

New Orleans point guard Chris Paul was unable to play while

recovering from surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee,

and he used a single crutch for support when he was introduced

during pregame introductions. He has already missed seven games for

the Hornets and is expected to be out another three to five

weeks.

Derrick Rose didn’t participate in the Saturday night

festivities, passing up a chance to defend his Skills Challenge

title, because of a bruised right hip sustained in Chicago’s last

game Wednesday night when he got knocked to the floor by Howard on

a driving layup.

But Rose, one of nine first-time All-Stars, didn’t miss the main

event, entering Sunday’s game with four points in the second

quarter.