NEW ORLEANS (AP) -King James is All-Star royalty again.
LeBron James threw down a powerful dunk for the go-ahead basket with 55 seconds left, punctuating an MVP performance and helping the Eastern Conference beat the West 134-128 on Sunday night in the All-Star game.
James finished with 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in capturing his second MVP award in the last three years. He was honored in 2006 in Houston after he sparked the East's big rally in a 122-120 victory in Houston.
This time, the East blew the big lead, with the West rallying from 16 points down to grab a fourth-quarter lead. But with the game tied at 125, James came up with a steal, then dribbled the length of the court before soaring for a dunk over a couple of West players that put the East back on top for good.
line and high-fived the rest of the East players at the completion of the national anthem.
``The East did a great job man, we got a big lead in the first half and we withstood their run in the fourth quarter,'' James said after accepting the MVP trophy from NBA commissioner David Stern. We made plays down the stretch.''
None bigger than the one by James, which started with him batting away a pass by Dirk Nowitzki.
``You saw that last dunk by LeBron,'' West guard Chris Paul said. ``I mean, we had two people on him, but that still wasn't enough.''
James scored 12 points in the first half, taking part in a slam dunk competition with Dwight Howard, who won the dunk contest on All-Star Saturday night.
James, Howard and Jason Kidd teamed on the highlight play of the first half, a Kidd-to-James-to-Howard lob, which Howard slammed in. Howard and James later took turns setting each other up for slams, with James throwing down a lob from Howard with his right hand to give the East a 57-50 lead. Just to show he wasn't just about dunks, he drilled a 3-pointer minutes later to push the lead to nine.
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