Bryant and O'Neal named MVPs as West pounds East All-Stars 146-119
Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and former teammate Shaquille O'Neal added 17 on 8-of9 shooting, leading the Western Conference over the East 146-119 in the 58th NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, Arizona, dpa reported.
Bryant and O'Neal, the argumentative duo which led the Los Angeles Lakers to three straight championships (2000, 2001 and 2002) before being stunned by the Detroit Pistons in 2004, were back together again for the first time in five years.
"It was fun being out there with him again," Bryant said.
O'Neal felt flashbacks of the dominant years with the Lakers.
"It felt like old times," said O'Neal, who plays for the Phoenix Suns. "We were the best big man/little man combo ever created."
For their efforts, both Bryant and O'Neal were voted their third NBA All-Star MVP trophies, matching greats Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan.
"The big legendaries," O'Neal joked as he accepted his trophy from league commissioner David Stern.
Bryant, however, was more respectful of joining the elite group.
"It's very special," he said. "Obviously, you're playing with the best of the best, so it feels good to be in such great company."
Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix) had 19 points, Chris Paul (New Orleans) collected 14 with 14 assists for the West, which despite the lopsided victory trails in the all-time series 38-23.
LeBron James (Cleveland) netted 20 points while Paul Pierce (Boston) and Dwyane Wade (Miami) added 18 apiece for the East, which had won three of the previous four mid-season contests.