Team USA completely dominated the second half of the rising stars game at the All-Star Weekend in Chicago. Since the Team USA versus Team World format started six years ago, Team World had a 3-2 advantage over the USA. They tied the series this year with their 151-131 victory.
Team USA played with vigor, dunking the ball all over the place in the second half. Game MVP Miles Bridges, a sophomore from the Charlotte Hornets, scored 20 points, five rebounds, five assists, and added three steals. New York Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett, a Canadian playing for Team World, led all players by scoring 27 points.
Number 1 draft pick, Zion Williamson of the Pelicans, played for Team USA and turned the game into a slam dunk showcase. His second-quarter dunk almost broke the rim, reminiscent of a young Shaquille O'Neal. Too bad he won't be competing in the Slam Dunk competition on Saturday. According to CBS Sports, Plenty of other players such as Brandon Clarke, Eric Paschall, and Collin Sexton also scored 20 plus points in the game.
All-Star main game starter and Team World captain Luka Doncic made 16 points and shot an amazing half-court hail mary over Team USA captain Trae Young to give Team World an 81-71 lead going into half-time. Trae Young will also play in the main All-Stars game this coming Sunday as a reserve.
Before the Team USA versus Team World format, the rising-stars game was Rookies versus Sophomores, with the Sophomores winning most of the time. In recent years, the NBA has had enough international players coming in every year to change the format into a more exciting match-up. Japanese Rui Hachimura, a rookie, playing for the Washington Wizards, is excited about representing his team, his country, and the 2019-2020 rookie class in an interview before the game.
Several players were replaced in the final roster with Williamson replacing Wendell Carter Jr, a Chicago Bulls player injured for 4-6 weeks due to an ankle injury. Collin Sexton is also a replacement for Tyler Herro, and Nicolò Melli was selected as Deandre Ayton's replacement.