A perfect shooting night from a guy who has won the NBA’s regular-season MVP award more than once shouldn’t come as a surprise.
No, and that was not the only strange element of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.
Two-time NBA regular-season MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo, very early in the evening, tied the All-Star record for most consecutive field goals made.
Eight was that mark. Set in 1968 by Hal Greer.
And then Giannis made another and another, finishing 16 for 16 and winning his first All-Star Game MVP.
In an unintended tribute to throwback NBA days, Antetokounmpo delivered a series of bank shots throughout Team LeBron’s 170-150 victory.
“You know, usually it is closed (on Sundays),” Antetokounmpo said, referencing the “bank” shots, “but for me, it was open extended hours.”
Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry won the 3-point contest earlier Sunday, burying the final ball to defeat Utah’s Mike Conley.
He then hit eight 3-pointers and put up 28 points during the game itself, which included something of a duel with Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
Strange? They were teammates. Lillard poured in 32 points and a signature moment at the end: a 3-pointer from, oh, just past the midcourt line.
THE LANDSCAPE: THERE WAS SOME BAD
Strange, too, was the atmosphere.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant only a few fans, who observed quarantine guidelines for a game that many believed should not have been played.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons became examples. The All-Stars were unable to play because of contact tracing protocols and may miss some regular-season games.
AND SOME GOOD
Team LeBron donated more than $1 million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, while Team Durant donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund.