The Latest: US beats World 157-154 in Rising Stars Challenge

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Posted: Feb 12, 2016 11:03 PM
The Latest: US beats World 157-154 in Rising Stars Challenge

TORONTO (AP) — The Latest on Friday's events at the NBA's All-Star Weekend in Toronto (all times local):

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11 p.m.

Zach LaVine had 30 points and seven rebounds and the United States team beat the World team 157-154 in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night to kick off the NBA's All-Star weekend.

In the game featuring some of the best rookies and sophomores in the league, LaVine geared up to defend his slam dunk title on Saturday night by making 13 of 20 shots to beat Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Andrew Wiggins. LaVine was selected the game MVP.

Kristaps Porzingis scoredd 30 points and Emmanuel Mudiay had 30 points and 10 assists for the World team. Wiggins scored 29 points while playing in front of his hometown fans.

Los Angeles Lakers sophomore Jordan Clarkson added 25 for the Americans.

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9:30 p.m.

The Rising Stars Challenge — featuring some of the best rookies and sophomores in the league — is off to a roaring start, thanks to Toronto-born Andrew Wiggins.

The Minnesota Timberwolves star is tremendously popular in Canada, where he was getting attention and building highlight reels as young as 14. Wiggins received the loudest ovation when the players were announced before the game, and he threw down a couple of big dunks in the first few minutes to get the game going.

Denver Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay threw the ball off the backboard to a soaring Wiggins that got the crowd on its feet.

The World team also has Canadians Trey Lyles and Dwight Powell.

— Jon Krawczynski

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9:05 p.m.

Drake outcoached Kevin Hart, and didn't even need to put on a uniform for his win.

Canada's first chance to host the NBA's midseason showcase got off to a flying start Friday night, with the Grammy winner leading his nation's team to a 74-63 win over the United States in the All-Star celebrity game.

With All-Stars like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kyle Lowry looking on, as well as celebs like Spike Lee, Vin Diesel and Guy Fieri in the stands, Drake — aided by a dunk from tennis star Milos Raonic — led the Canadians to a nine-point lead at the half.

That led Hart — a celebrity game veteran — to turn over the U.S. coaching duties to All-Star Andre Drummond in the third quarter, change into a uniform and insert himself into the game.

To say players took the game less than seriously would be accurate. Rick Fox was taking selfies on Canada's bench, Hart feigned crying when a montage of his best celebrity game moments played to the tune of "One Shining Moment," and Canadian tennis player Genie Bouchard talked trash somewhat comically.

Canada's Win Butler got MVP honors, after a 15-point, 14-rebound performance. And then he promptly retired from celebrity games, or so he said.

— Tim Reynolds

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8:45 p.m.

Drake is going to be busy throughout All-Star weekend.

Not only is he coaching Canada's team in Friday's celebrity game, he'll also be involved with the All-Star player introductions on Sunday night. The NBA says that the Grammy winner and Toronto Raptors Global Ambassador "will be adding his own special touch" to the proceedings.

Drake is a Toronto native, and got a "key to the city" earlier Friday.

— Tim Reynolds

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8:15 p.m.

Milos Raonic put an exclamation point on Canada's dominant first half against the U.S. in the All-Star celebrity game Friday night.

The 6-foot-5 tennis star, the 11th-ranked player in the world who lost in the semifinals of the Australian Open, was able throw down a two-handed dunk, giving coach Drake and Canada a 37-28 halftime lead against Kevin Hart and the United States team.

The celebrities on the floor showed flashes of solid basketball skills, including actor Jason Sudeikis, who had three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the first half for the U.S.

There also were celebrities taking in the action at courtside, including Spike Lee, Vin Diesel, and All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson.

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6:05 p.m.

Chris Bosh is out of the All-Star Game and the 3-point contest, though is staying in Toronto for the remainder of the weekend.

Bosh said he has a strained right calf, which he didn't reveal during media sessions earlier Friday. The team made the announcement late Friday afternoon, and Bosh says he needs extra time "to try to heal and focus on the second half" of the season.

Al Horford will replace Bosh on the All-Star roster, and Portland's C.J. McCollum will take his spot in the 3-point contest.

The Heat will already be without one of their big men when their schedule resumes. Hassan Whiteside won't play in Atlanta next Friday, suspended one game by the NBA for throwing an elbow during Miami's loss to San Antonio earlier this week. And with fellow Heat big man Chris Andersen still out with a bad knee, the prospects of not having Bosh for Miami's next real game likely weighed into the decision.

— Tim Reynolds

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4:15 p.m.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said more than once that advertisements on jerseys is an inevitable development. Reigning MVP Steph Curry said on Friday at his All-Star press conference that "nothing is going to stop that train from coming."

"I don't want it to be too gimmicky where we're walking ads for just everything," Curry said. "I'm trying to keep the classic look of a basketball uniform that we all know and love.

"I've seen soccer uniforms where they marks all over the jerseys. Whether you like it or not, that's kind of been that way for a while. The transition will be a little weird for sure."

— Jon Krawczynski

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3:55 p.m.

LeBron James is amused over all the fuss that accompanied Tyronn Lue getting the chance to coach the Eastern Conference in Sunday's All-Star Game.

The honor typically goes to the coaching staff of the team leading their respective conference at the break, provided that staff didn't also coach in the game the year before. So when the Cleveland Cavaliers fired David Blatt and promoted Lue from his assistant spot to being the coach in charge, that meant Lue also got the All-Star duty.

And while it might seem strange to some, James was quick to point out Friday at the All-Star media day that Lue "would have been here anyways, even if coach Blatt was still our coach."

James has been criticized for what many presume to be his role in Blatt's dismissal, and the four-time MVP says he isn't letting that perception bother him. He also didn't take the bait when asked to describe differences between Blatt and Lue.

James' answer: "Their height."

For the record, Blatt (6-foot-3) is listed to be about three inches taller than Lue.

— Tim Reynolds

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2:15 p.m.

Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson are finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

College coaches Tom Izzo, Eddie Sutton, Lefty Driesell, Bo Ryan and Muffet McGraw, and women's star Sheryl Swoopes were also among the finalists announced Friday.

They could be voted as Hall of Famers when the full class is announced in April.

So could Yao Ming, who is already a finalist and could be directly elected from the International Committee.

— Brian Mahoney

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1:58 p.m.

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony says he hopes the owners and the players union can come to a new labor agreement without a work stoppage.

Anthony was speaking on Friday as part of the kickoff to All-Star weekend festivities. Either side can choose to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement until Dec. 15.

Last time the two sides could not come to an agreement, the owners locked out the players that shortened the 2011-12 season by 16 games.

"I hope we can come to an agreement sooner rather than later," said Anthony, who fully endorse NBPA executive director Michele Roberts. "We don't want another lockout. We just have to sit down at the table. Now, it's talking about more important issues than we talked about in the past and being transparent with each other."

— Jon Krawczynski

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1:25 p.m.

Kobe Bryant has gone through an All-Star media day for the final time.

The retiring star of the Los Angeles Lakers took questions for about 30 minutes, laughed and smiled throughout, accepted some gifts from international reporters — including a photo that said "thank you" — and spoke in English, Italian and a little Spanish at times. He even asked a reporter from Taiwan to teach him a phrase in his language.

Topics ranged from his love of storytelling (which he intends to make his next passion after basketball), what he would tell his 8-year-old self (enjoy the moment) and how long he wants to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday night.

Bryant says he would be fine playing just 10 minutes. Fans, however, are probably hoping for far more than that.

— Tim Reynolds

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11:45 a.m.

Chris Paul looked at a teammate, then glared at an opponent. Dwyane Wade made what he thought was a great play, then yelled in disbelief when it didn't work out to his liking.

The games have started at All-Star weekend — and no, not of the basketball variety.

Wade and the sock company Stance hosted a Spades tournament on Thursday night and the card game was attended by plenty of current and former players, including Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson.

It was the second annual tournament, and much like last year's debut in New York, the players took the game very — very — seriously.

Before he sat down to play with his teammate (and wife) Gabrielle Union, Wade says players don't turn off the competitive fires that fuel them on the court, explaining that "competitive people like winning, no matter what we do."

— Tim Reynolds

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10:20 a.m.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has opened All-Star weekend by paying homage to the league's history in Toronto.

Silver spoke Friday morning at the NBA All-Star Technology Summit, and began his remarks by reminding attendees that the league's enormous success globally stems in part from what happened in Toronto on Nov. 1, 1946 — when the first game in what was then called the Basketball Association of America was played.

Silver is calling this weekend "a very special one for us in the NBA, a homecoming."

It was in Toronto on that night nearly 70 years ago when the New York Knicks visited and beat the Toronto Huskies 68-66. The game was played at Maple Leaf Gardens — "which, if you're curious, is now a grocery store," Silver says

— Tim Reynolds