World trounces U.S. to jump start all-star weekend

Ebony Scott
February 18, 2018

Team World has the advantage in the series, leading 2-1 after last year's 150-141 win.

The Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray made his second consecutive appearance for the World Team. Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 35 points, but it wasn't enough for Team USA to keep things competitive.

Fox was able to get 16 minutes of action as he recorded four points, two rebounds, and two assists for the night.

Was the World team more talented than their domestic counterpart?

Simmons also dismissed questions about the game being crucial for confirming his favoritism for NBA Rookie of the Year, with the U.S. team featuring Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, who has emerged as a potential rival for the award. The Sacramento Kings star finished with a team-high 29 points in the win.

Size advantage - Moreover, Team World is HUGE. Jamal Murray was next with 21, followed by Dario Saric with 18, Lauri Markkanen with 15, Domantas Sabonis with 13, Ben Simmons and Dillon Brooks with 11 apiece, Frank Ntilikina with 6 and Joel Embiid with 5 on only 9 minutes. But even in the backcourt, Simmons is a huge point guard who can wreak havoc on the game with his sheer length and athleticism.

Team World's complete dominance was shocking.

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Shooting - Sadly, even the shooting edge is in Team World's favor.

"Playing in front of a world audience, and definitely I feel like I've got a chip on my shoulder, so I come out with that tenacity that I want people to recognize", Brown said after the game.

Not everything was bad for Team USA, though. Tatum is hitting over 40 percent from beyond the arc, but he's hardly a volume shooter from that distance.

Donovan Mitchell vs Ben Simmons - Mitchell and Simmons have pretty clearly separated themselves as the top candidates for Rookie of the Year this season.

Perhaps Simmons and Mitchell will be similarly linked years from now. He has leveled off a bit but remains remarkably productive on both ends of the court. Despite the high-flying, high-scoring match, the game was not close really at any point. But they got a surprise, too, symbolic of the league's evolution toward the three-pointer: An off-the-radar Serbian who got hot early and stayed hot, making seven of 13 three-point shots - including one that came from Stephen Curry range - for 26 points. The 25-year-old rookie known as "Bogie" shrugged and moved on. On paper, this just shouldn't be much of a contest.

The 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend is officially underway.

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