Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Denver Nuggets second-year forward Kenneth
Faried totaled 40 points and 10 rebounds to lead Team Chuck to a 163-135
blowout victory over Team Shaq at the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.
Faried made 18-of-22 attempts from the field, including a pair of uncontested
windmill slam dunks in the final minute to collect MVP honors and kick off the
NBA's All-Star weekend festivities on Friday at the Toyota Center.
With the exception of Ricky Rubio, who had his flashy passing abilities on
display in registering 10 assists, every player scored in double-figures for
the winning team, put together by Charles Barkley.
Tristan Thompson and Kawhi Leonard each scored 20 and Isaiah Thomas
contributed 18 points with 10 assists for the victors, who made 17 3-pointers
collectively and never trailed in the contest.
For the second consecutive year, the group selected by Shaquille O'Neal wasn't
nearly good enough despite grabbing the MVP of last year's event, Kyrie
Irving, who tallied 32 points and will participate in his first All-Star game
After a first-half posterization of Team Shaq's group, Barkley's squad held a
commanding 90-66 lead they would not relenquish. Faried had 19 points through
the initial 20 minutes, with his last bucket coming on a ferocious two-handed
The closest Shaq's group came was at 109-92, but Barkley's squad eventually
built their edge up to as many as 33 points before the final buzzer.
Irving scored 18 of his points in the second half, with his highlight score
coming as a result of an ankle breaking crossover of Brandon Knight late in
Cavs rookie Dion Waiters followed Irving with 23 points on 11-of-12 shooting
and Damian Lillard posted 18 points in the defeat.
Comedian Kevin Hart took home MVP honors for the second consecutive year in
the Celebrity All-Star game. He finished with five points, three rebounds and
one assist as the celebrities from the West handled their counterparts from
the East with a 58-38 victory at the Sprint Arena.
The Sports Network