Bridges, Adebayo, Paul shine at NBA All-Star Weekend

There were plenty of N.C. connections in Chicago last weekend

Zion Williamson, of the New Orleans Pelicans, goes up for a dunk during Friday’s Rising Stars game during NBA All-Star Weekend. (Nam Y. Huh / AP Photo)
Former Duke star Jayson Tatum, of the Boston Celtics, dunks during the first half of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Chicago. (David Banks / AP Photo)

After spending last year in Charlotte, the NBA’s All-Star Weekend moved on to Chicago this year, but there was plenty of representation from the Old North State at the league’s showcase event. Charlotte Hornets second-year wing Miles Bridges won MVP honors for the Futures game featuring the league’s top rookies and NBA sophomores. Bridges had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He added five rebounds, five assists and three steals for Team USA in a 151-131 win. Hornets teammates PJ Washington and Devonte’ Graham added eight and nine points, respectively. Washington had five rebounds, while Graham had six and five assists. Former Duke Blue Devil Zion Williamson had 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including a slam dunk that bent the rim.

Williamson’s Duke teammate RJ Barrett led the World team with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Barrett added six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Former Blue Devil Wendell Carter Jr. was chosen for the game but couldn’t play due to injury.

Charlotte Hornets standout Miles Bridges was named MVP of Friday’s Rising Stars game. (Nam Y. Huh / AP Photo)

On All-Star Saturday night, Bam Adebayo, who played high school and AAU ball in North Carolina, won the Skills Competition. Duke’s Jayson Tatum, who won last year, was eliminated in the first round by Domantas Sabonis.

In the 3-point contest, won by Buddy Hield, Graham did not qualify for the finals after getting 19 points in the first round. Former Hornet Dwight Howard didn’t qualify for the finals of the dunk contest after getting 90 points in the first round.

Former Wake Forest star Chris Paul, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, showed off his vertical during Sunday’s All-Star Game. (Nam Huh / AP Photo)

In the actual All-Star Game, Tatum and former Wake Forest player Chris Paul were members of the victorious Team LeBron squad. Paul had 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He hit seven 3-pointers and threw down the first alley-oop dunk of his NBA career. Paul also had six assists. Tatum had six points and three assists.

Former Hornets guard Kemba Walker, now with the Celtics, started for Team Giannis and scored 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting. He had three rebounds and three assists while knocking down five treys. Adebayo scored eight points on four-of-five shooting and former Blue Devil Brandon Ingram had two points in 8½ minutes.