The Association decided to tweak the NBA Rookie Game during NBA All-Star Weekend, by going with mixed rosters of first and second year players, as they staged the NBA Rising Stars Challenge in Orlando’s Amway Arena on Friday night. TNT broadcasters Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal were the opposing coaches for the two squads, with “Team Chuck” led bt Cleveland Cavaliers rookie point guard Kyrie Irving defeating “Team Shaq” by a final margin of 146-133. The Cavaliers rookie was named the game’s MVP as he put on a show for the crowd scoring a game high 34 points as he shot 12-13 from the floor and went an amazing 8-8 from three-point range. The Cavaliers other rookie, forward Tristan Thompson would be the leading scorer for the other squad as he knocked down 20 points in the contest.
This game was a scoring showcase as the winners shot 64.5% (60-93) from the floor and 55% (11-20) from outside the arc while their opponents would connect on 57.4% (58-101) from the field for the night. Indiana Pacers swing-man Paul George would drop 23 points for “Team Chuck” while Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins racked up a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Pistons center Greg Monroe recorded a double-double for “Team Shaq” including 19 points and 10 rebounds while Heat rookie point guard Norris Cole added another 18 points in the loss.