Kobe Bryant had 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting, more than twice as many attempts as anybody else on his team. Shaquille O'Neal had five points, three rebounds and three assists in just five minutes on the court.
Amare Stoudemire, perhaps in his final game representing the Phoenix Suns, scored 10 in the first half. Paul Pierce scored 14 for the East, and LeBron James had 10.
The first half was big on scoring and short on defense, but that's to be expected. What it lacked was the much of the spectacular showmanship that usually highlights this game.
James scored eight points as the East shot out to a 20-8 lead, and it was 20-10 when O'Neal entered to be reunited with Bryant, a duo that won three consecutive NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The combination helped fuel a West rally. Shaq had a tip-in, and Kobe sank a 3-pointer before getting inside for a dunk. The baskets came in a 19-0 run that put the West up 27-20 after Tony Parker's layup, on a pass from O'Neal, with 2:03 to play.
The East bounced back to cut the deficit to 46-45 on Danny Granger's steal and breakaway jam.
Parker, with wife Eva Longoria cheering him on from a courtside seat, was 4-for-4 for eight points in nine minutes. Brandon Roy was 4-for-5 with eight points, and Pau Gasol scored 10 for the West.
The best part of the night, at least up to the halftime buzzer, came when O'Neal was introduced as the last of the West's reserves. The giant center, in a white mask like those of his smaller dance partners, wowed the crowd in a hip-hop routine that had the fans laughing and clapping in appreciation.
"He's a great dancer. I've seen that all before," Bryant said at halftime. "It was great being out there with him again."
© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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