By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Russell Westbrook exploded for 41 points to lead the Western Conference to a 163-158 victory over the East in the 64th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
The Oklahoma City Thunder guard showed off his spectacular athleticism with a series high-flying dunks, once slamming home an alley-oop pass from Chris Paul with his head above the rim.
Having set a first half scoring record with 27 points in just over 11 minutes, Westbrook went on to hit 16 of 28 shots, most from above the rim and was named the game's MVP.
Westbrook came within one point of the All-Star record 42 points scored by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.
Leading the way for the East was four-time NBA most valuable player LeBron James, who posted 30 points.
The game made All-Star history right from the start as the Gasol brothers lined up for the opening tap as the first siblings ever to start the midseason classic.
Pau Gasol of the Bulls won the tip from younger brother Marc of the Grizzlies and the game was on.
With the players on both sides enjoying free-wheeling dashes up and down the floor, the sides combined for 321 points, most ever in an NBA All-Star Game.
Besides bragging rights, the winning West team players pocketed $50,000, double the amount taken away by the losers.
(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)