ARLINGTON, Texas (Reuters) – Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat scored a game-high 28 points and added 11 assists as the Eastern Conference prevailed over the West by a nail-biting 141-139 in the NBA’s annual All-Star game on Sunday.
Played before a record crowd of 108,713 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the game went down to the wire before East big man Chris Bosh scored the winning free throws with five seconds remaining.
“We got serious at the end of course — we wanted to win,” Bosh told reporters after finishing with 23 points and 10 boards.
“108,000 people were watching, it’s a different kind of setting … To be able to have the biggest crowd ever, I think that speaks a lot to where the game has come.”
Wade was the game’s Most Valuable Player with another strong performance in Dallas, the site of his 2006 NBA Finals MVP performance when he led the Heat to a title over the Mavericks.
“I’m just happy first of all that we got the win. It was a good game and went down to the end,” he said after receiving the trophy.
Dirk Nowitzki, of hometown Dallas, opened the scoring with a long jump shot and the West quickly took a 6-0 lead but the East did not trail for long and led 76-69 at halftime.
The West scored the first seven points of the fourth to make it a close contest led by guard Chauncey Billups, who scored 14 of his 17 in the fourth where he made four three-pointers.
Carmelo Anthony, of the Denver Nuggets, was the leading scorer for the West with 27 points and added 10 rebounds while Nowitzki netted 22.
Reigning regular season MVP LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers provided much of the game’s excitement and finished with 25 points for the East.
Wade said he relished the one day in the year when he could play with James.
“You see the connection we both have, especially going to the basket, lobs, finding each other,” Wade said. “I’ve played with him for a lot of years, the Olympics, and he makes it easy for all his teammates — you see it in Cleveland.
“I get the opportunity to be his teammate for one day, and I’m going to enjoy it.”