The Shooting Stars

March 8, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez

Welcome Back!

When 24 of the best basketball players in the world get together for an open gym mess around, highlights run wild. It’s not great basketball, but it’s fantastic entertainment. Cue the showmanship.

Letter Rip!



The 2021 All-Star Show

Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

Team LeBron Beats Team Durant (170-150), Giannis Antetokounmpo Wins MVP


Alley-oops, no defense and a bunch of half-court shots. What’s not to like? The 70th NBA All-Star Game brought a jam-packed highlight reel Sunday night in Atlanta. Team LeBron notched a clean sweep of Team Durant (170-150) by winning each of the first three quarters and putting up a 20-point gap by game’s end.


The game was a show-boating masterpiece complete with half-court shots by Steph Curry and Damian Lillard, and a perfect performance by Giannis Antetokounmpo (35 points, 16-for-16 FG). You’re reading that right. Giannis didn’t miss en route to winning MVP, and he set an NBA record in the process. Curry (28 points) and Lillard (32 points) both went 8-for-16 from 3-point range. Lillard’s last half-court 3 was the dagger that put an end to the game.


Fun Fact: Teams drafted by LeBron James are 4-0 in the All-Star Game since drafting began in 2018.


All-Star Game MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo

35 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists

FG: 16-for-16 | 3-PT: 3-for-3


Watch: 2021 NBA All-Star Game Highlights


All-Star Weekend Events


Skills Challenge: Domantas Sabonis

Against all odds, the skills challenge turned out to be a battle of the bigs. Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis eked out a win over Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic in the final round after beating Luka Doncic (Mavericks) and Julius Randle (Knicks).


3-Point Contest: Steph Curry

Curry’s hot shooting night started in the pre-game. The Warriors guard claimed his second 3-point contest title. He entered the final round needing to beat 27 points, and he hit a money-ball on the final rack for 28 points.


Dunk Contest: Anfernee Simons

The halftime show of All-Star night featured three young guns in the dunk contest. Anfernee Simons (Blazers) defeated Obi Toppin (Knicks) and Cassius Stanley (Pacers). Simons finished it off by nearly kissing the rim on his final attempt.


Additional Storylines

B/R: Joel Embiid & Ben Simmons Miss NBA ASG Due to Barbershop Visit, COVID-19 Tracing

NBA: Chris Paul Passes Magic Johnson for All-Time All-Star Game Assists Record



The Regular Season Champs

Photo: Soobum Im / Getty Images

Winners of the College Basketball Regular Season Before the Postseason


The madness is coming. A wild weekend in college hoops featured numerous upsets, buzzer-beaters and stunning storylines. With the women’s tournaments well underway and the men’s conference tourney brackets being finalized, here’s the rundown of your major conference champions from the regular season.


Men’s Regular Season Champs

Big Ten: #2 Michigan

ACC: #21 Virginia

Big 12: #3 Baylor

SEC: #8 Alabama

Pac-12: Oregon

Big East: #10 Villanova


Women’s Regular Season Champs

Big Ten: #8 Maryland

ACC: #5 Louisville

Big 12: #6 Baylor

SEC: #2 Texas A&M
Pac-12: #4 Stanford

Big East: #1 UConn


Additional Storylines

Yahoo! Sports: Duke’s Blowout Loss to Carolina Likely Ends 37-Year NCAA Tournament Streak

CBS Sports: Michigan State Boosts NCAA Tournament Resume With Upset Over #2 Michigan (70-64)



Man. United Halts City’s Streak

Photo: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Manchester City’s 21-Game Win Streak Finally Ends in the Manchester Derby (2-0)


The streak is over! Manchester City’s 21-match glory run finally came to an end on Sunday in the 185th Manchester Derby. And at the hands of rival Manchester United (2-0), no less. City hadn’t been denied a victory since a December 15 draw against West Bromwich Albion, and they hadn’t lost in 28 matches (Tottenham, Nov. 20). Sunday’s Premier League clash appeared lopsided on the pitch with City out-classing United in shots (23-8) and possession (66-34), but it was just the opposite on the scoreboard. Bruno Fernandes (2’) finished an early penalty strike before Luke Shaw (50’) added the insurance goal.


Premier League Implications: Manchester City still hold a heavy lead in the title race, but the win vaulted United back into second place with ten matches to play.


Watch: Man-U Ends Man. City’s 21-Match Streak


Premier League Table (Top-4)

1. Manchester City (65 points)

2. Manchester United (54 points)

3. Leicester City (53 points)

4. Chelsea (47 points)

5. Everton (46 points)

6. Tottenham (45 points)

7. West Ham (45 points)

8. Liverpool (43 points)

9. Aston Villa (40 points)

10. Arsenal (38 points)


Additional Storylines

NBC Sports: 3 Things We Learned From the Manchester Derby

CNN: Manchester United Brings Manchester City’s 21-Match Winning Streak to an End



DeChambeau Powers Through Bay Hill

Photo: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

Power-Hitter Bryson DeChambeau (-11) Sinks Walk-Off Putt to Win Arnold Palmer Invitational


Bryson DeChambeau’s unrivaled power was the story at Bay Hill all weekend long. But at the very end, it was his finesse. DeChambeau wowed the golf world with monster drives at every turn — nearly cutting the corner and driving the green on a 555-yard Par 5 — on his way to the top of the leaderboard on Sunday. On Hole 11, he buried a lengthy par save before playing even through the back-nine. A five-footer on 18 gave him a one-stroke victory over Lee Westwood (-10). It was DeChambeau’s eighth career PGA Tour win, but his first of the 2021 season.


Watch: DeChambeau’s Round 4 Highlights


Final Leaderboard

B. DeChambeau (-11)

L. Westwood (-10)

C. Conners (-8)

J. Spieth (-6)

A. Putnam (-6)


Other Notable Scorecards: R. McIlroy (-3), P. Casey (-3), H. Matsuyama (-2),


Additional Storylines

ESPN: Bryson DeChambeau Gets ‘Chills’ After Nearly Driving Bay Hill’s 555-Yard Par-5

B/R: Phil Mickelson Falls Out of Top 100 World Golf Rankings for 1st Time Since 1993



🏒 NHL: Another Vegas Hot Streak

The Las Vegas Golden Knights extended their NHL-best win streak to six over the weekend with two wins against the San Jose Sharks. Vegas has outscored opponents 25-11 over those six games.


🥊 UFC: Adesanya Upset by Blachowicz

Jan Blachowicz shocked the UFC world by stealing the light heavyweight title belt from Israel Adesanya in a five-round decision.


🥊 UFC: Amanda Nunes Does It Again

The women’s featherweight champ, Amanda Nunes, made light work of Megan Anderson with a Round 1 submission in Saturday’s UFC 259.


🏀 NCAAM: Houston’s Half-Court Buzzer-Beater

The highlight of the weekend went to 9th-ranked Houston’s Tramon Mark who called bank on a half-court game-winner to beat Memphis (67-64).



⏱️ When the Clock Stopped

It took just three days last March for nearly every sport to shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak. In recent weeks, dozens of people have reflected on March 11-13, the days when much of the athletic world came to a halt. (New York Times)


🏀 Selection Sunday’s Controversy Promise

Following an unprecedented regular season amid a global pandemic, the job of the 10-member committee made up of athletics directors and conference commissioners figures to be all the more difficult — and, subsequently, debatable. (USA Today)


🏒 Why Does NHL Keep Enabling Tom Wilson?

Wilson’s seven-game sentence for boarding is the fifth suspension of his career, but by not penalizing him for what it acknowledges to be a direct blow to the head, the NHL once again is sending the wrong message to the Capitals winger. (Sports Illustrated)