The Brightest Stars

February 21, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Welcome Back,

The NBA’s All-Star Weekend was a non-stop showcase, and the Winter Olympics wrapped things up with the closing ceremonies in Beijing. Plus, Daytona ended with a must-see finish, and things got heated in the Big Ten. A wild sports weekend like this one needs no introduction, but I gave you one anyway. Let’s recap it all in less than five minutes…

Letter Rip!


The Brightest Stars


Team LeBron Wins on LBJ’s Game-Winner; Steph Curry (50 Points) Breaks All-Star Game 3-Point Record


The 2022 NBA All-Star Game brought a thrilling exhibition to Cleveland for the league’s 75th anniversary celebration on Sunday night. Team LeBron defeated Team Durant (163-160) thanks to LeBron James’ step-back game-winner to hit the target score. Akron’s native son returned to Northeast Ohio with a bang, getting the win and the game-winner in a dramatic finish. Golden State’s Steph Curry won the MVP after dropping 50 points — just two points shy of the All-Star Game record — including a record-setting 16 3-pointers.


How the 4th Quarter Was Won

Both teams split quarters one and two before tying in the third period. That left the fourth quarter for all the marbles with the 24-point target score in honor of Kobe Bryant. Team LeBron led the way through the fourth as Curry hunted the All-Star points record, but fell short. On the final play, LeBron nailed a step-back to call game.


NBA All-Star Stats (Top Performers)

*S. Curry (GSW): 50 points (16-for-27, 3-pt)

J. Embiid (PHI): 36 points, 10 rebounds

G. Antetokounmpo (MIL): 30 points, 12 rebounds

L. James (LAL): 24 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists

*All-Star Game MVP


Watch: 2022 NBA All-Star Game Highlights

Watch: Steph Curry Drops 50 Points With 16 3s


All-Star Weekend Highlights

Dunk Contest

Winner: Obi Toppin (NYK)

3-Point Contest

Winner: Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)

Skills Challenge

Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers


Additional Storylines

SI: 2022 NBA All-Star Game: Handing Out Grades for Each Player

CBS Sports: Stephen Curry Earns All-Star Game MVP After Demolishing Record for Most 3s

USA Today: NBA Celebrates 75th Anniversary With Gathering of Greatest Players Ever



2022 Winter Olympics: Closing Time


The 2022 Winter Olympics Come to a Close in Beijing With Norway On Top of Medal Count


The most controversial Winter Olympics in recent memory is in the books. China’s closing ceremonies were a sight to behold on Sunday in Beijing, but the overall consensus was a brigade of COVID-19 challenges, another Russian doping scandal and China’s host duties under the microscope. Norway ended the Winter Games with the most medals (37) and the most golds (16) of any country in competition. The United States finished fifth with only 25 medals, including just eight golden moments.


Final Medal Count \"🏅\"

Norway (37)

ROC (32)

Germany (27)

Canada (26)

United States (25)

Sweden (18)

Austria (18)

Japan (18)

Netherlands (17)

Italy (17)

Full Medal Count


Additional Storylines

NBC Sports: Ranking the Most Dominant Athletes at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Yahoo! Sports: The Quotes That Tell the Story of the 2022 Beijing Olympics

USA Today: The Most Controversial, Most Unwelcoming Olympics of Our Lifetime Are Now Over



Cindric Captures Daytona 500 \"🏁\"


Rookie Austin Cindric Edges Bubba Wallace by .036 Seconds to Win 2022 Daytona 500


One race, one monumental victory for Austin Cindric. The Team Penske rookie won the 64th running of the Daytona 500 in his eighth career Cup start behind the wheel of the No. 2 Ford, edging out Bubba Wallace by just .036 seconds (roughly 3-4 feet) in one of the closest finishes in the history of The Great American Race.


Down the Stretch: A six-car wreck on Lap 190 paved the way for an exciting finish before a three-car collision on Lap 195 added to the drama. After a restart on Lap 200, Cindric was the race leader and held off a furious attempt by Wallace and Ryan Blaney in the final moments. Cars collided at the finish line to create a chaotic ending. It was Cindric’s first career win in just his eighth Cup Series start, and it came on the 85th birthday of team owner Roger Penske.


“Oh, my God! Do you know what makes this even better? A packed house… I’m surrounded by great people, that’s all there is to it. I know there’s going ot be highs and lows, being a rookie. I’m just grateful for the opportunity… I’m just really thankful.” — Austin Cindric



1. A. Cindric

2. B. Wallace

3. C. Briscoe

4. R. Blaney

5. A. Almirola

Full Results


Watch: Cindric Edges Wallace by .036 Seconds to Win Daytona 500


Additional Storylines

FOX Sports: 2022 Daytona 500: Austin Cindric Proves His Worth

FTW: Bubba Wallace Crushed by Runner-Up Finish: ‘Like a Gut Punch’

ESPN: Daytona 500 Winner Austin Cindric Goes From Relative Obscurity to Celebrity in One Night



Melee in the Big Ten \"👊\"


Michigan Head Coach Juwan Howard Sparks Postgame Brawl Against Wisconsin


Sparks fly in Wisconsin! The 15th-ranked Badgers beat down Michigan on Sunday in a Big Ten clash (77-63), but the real story came after the final buzzer. Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard called a timeout in the final minute, riling up Michigan head coach Juwan Johnson. The two exchanged words in the handshake line before Howard took a swing at a UW assistant coach. Details of the melee are still being worked out, but a suspension is certainly on the way for Howard.


Watch: Michigan HC Juwan Howard Sparks Postgame Melee


NCAA Men’s Basketball Highlights

Florida def. #2 Auburn (63-62)

#3 Arizona def. Oregon (84-81)

#4 Kentucky def. #25 Alabama (90-81)

#9 Duke def. Florida State (88-70)

#12 Illinois def. #19 Michigan State (79-74)

#23 Arkansas def. #16 Tennessee (58-48)


NCAA Women’s Basketball Highlights

#1 South Carolina def. #12 Tennessee (67-53)

#2 Stanford def. Oregon (66-62)

#3 Louisville def. #23 Virginia Tech (70-56)

#22 Iowa def. #5 Indiana (96-91)

#6 Iowa State def. #15 Oklahoma (89-67)

#9 Michigan def. #13 Maryland (71-59)

#11 LSU def. #17 Florida (66-61)


Additional Storylines

CBS Sports: Juwan Howard Strikes Coach Amid Mayhem After Wisconsin-Michigan

ESPN+: Bubble Watch: Brace Yourself for a Month of Bracket Selection Drama

SI: South Carolina’s Alliyah Boston Ties SEC Record With 19th Straight Double-Double



\"🏒\"  NHL: Eichel Scores 1st Goal in Vegas

The Golden Knights were 4-1 winners over the Sharks on Sunday night, and Jack Eichel finally lit the lamp for Vegas after the blockbuster trade that sent him there. The win put Vegas (29-18-4) back on track after a three-game skid. They’re currently 2nd in the Pacific Division.


\"⚽️\"  SOCCER: USWNT Thrashes New Zealand

The U.S. Women’s National Team handed New Zealand a 5-0 beatdown in their second match of the SheBelieves Cup on Sunday. New Zealand’s Meikayla Moore gifted the USA with a hat trick of own goals (you’re reading that right) in the first 36 minutes before Ashley Hatch and Mallory Pugh added the insurance.


\"⛳️\"  PGA: Niemann Goes Wire-to-Wire at Genesis Open

Joaquin Niemann only needed an even-par final round to close out his wire-to-wire Genesis Open win Sunday at the Riviera Golf Course. Niemann (-19) held off a late surge by Collin Morikawa (-17) en route to his second PGA Tour victory.



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