All-Star 2017: West prevails over East 130-121; Maya Moore named MVP

Photo Credit: AP/Elaine Thompson

The Emerald City was painted orange for WNBA All Star weekend, and it concluded in victory for the West All Stars as they beat the East with the final score being 130-121.

Much of the pregame conversation revolved around how it was the experience of the West matching up with the youth of the East. Veterans typically win in basketball, and the All Star Game was another example of the teachers defeating the pupils.

In addition, for the second consecutive year, the MVP award was bestowed upon the Minnesota Lynx’s Maya Moore, who concluded with 23 points.

Moore put up 30 in 2015 in the West’s 117-112 triumph over the East that year en route to the MVP award.

I thought it was a great game, a great pace. You don’t want anybody to get hurt, but you also want to play with a certain intensity to show off your athleticism, and I thought we were able to do that.

–Maya Moore

It also was a special All Star outing for Sue Bird of the host Seattle Storm who even provided some entertaining commentary for the ABC/ESPN telecast. She also provided for her West teammates 11 assists which is now a new All Star Game record.

I have no complaints, except the three point contest. I can complain about that. I was terrible.

Sue Bird

I know when she always talks about Seattle, she always gloats and she always gets a smile on her face. So it was nice to see that love back to her and you can tell it’s a mutual love.

Diana Taurasi (12 points, 5 assists)

Nneka Ogwumike added 22 points as well as seven rebounds. Sixteen of those 22 came in the second half as she began to build a case for herself as MVP, including trying some threes herself. The West as a team shot a robust 57 percent from the field. For the West, the three point contest started at the opening tip, not during halftime as they shot 40 percent from the perimeter.

For the East, they were led by the Connecticut Sun’s Jonquel Jones who put up 24 points and nine rebounds in her inaugural All Star appearance.

But here is how she claimed her final two of the game. That is what you call using every bit of that 6 foot 6 inches to your advantage.

I want to get back to my team healthy and make that playoff push. That’s the main thing. But it’s great to go out there and have a good game here.

–Jonquel Jones

Three East representatives, all off the bench, chimed in with 14 points. They were Allie Quigley, who won the three point competition at halftime, Layshia Clarendon, and Candice Dupree.

To be able to experience it here, where I was drafted, is kind of cool to come back here. Pretty awesome to have that memory.

Allie Quigley

Brittney Griner and Elena Delle Donne were selected to suit up for the West and East, respectively, but both suffered injuries that sidelined them. Curt Miller, the Sun’s coach, took the place of Bill Laimbeer, originally scheduled to coach the East, before a family issue came up with Laimbeer.

At the outset of the third quarter, ABC’s broadcast reported that West coach Cheryl Reeve instructed her team to up the intensity a bit in the second half. Both sides were all knotted up at 64 heading into the third quarter, but late in the frame, the West embarked on a 17 to 6 run leading to a 96-85 lead with one quarter of basketball remaining.

It was an All Star Game that was also not devoid of a sports luminary. Among those that made it to the Key included Bill Russell, Lenny Wilkens, and the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman.

The West now has 10 wins and four losses all time in All Star Games, but the West won the first five that were held. Their 130 points ties a record for the most by a team in All Star history (West 130, East 118, 2009, Connecticut) and the combined 251 points between East and West is the most in All Star history.

Now that All Star weekend is winding down, regular season play resumes on Tuesday as all 12 teams will be in action.

The Washington Mystics travel to San Antonio to face the Stars. The Sun will be at home as they await the Chicago Sky on ESPN3. The Phoenix Mercury will have Georgia on their minds as their next tilt will be at the Atlanta Dream. The New York Liberty will take a trip to the Land of 10,000 Lakes as they take on the Minnesota Lynx on ESPN2.

The Indiana Fever will also head down to Texas as the Dallas Wings await them in Arlington (ESPN 3). All Star host Seattle Storm will face their compadres from the West Coast as they head to Southern California where the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks await (on NBA TV).

Intrigue also surrounds where next year’s All Star festivities will be held. The only known bid is from the Minnesota Lynx that hope to coincide a 2018 All Star Game with a completely renovated Target Center.

But as for now…

By: Akiem Bailum (@AkiemBailum on Twitter, Instagram)