20 Lasting Images from the 2013 NBA All-Star Game

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The Best Photos from the 2013 NBA All-Star Game

Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports
Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports

The 2013 NBA All-Star Game went down Sunday night in Houston. It was an entertaining contest (by ASG standards), that went down to the final minutes. Things got a little serious as the fourth quarter went on, and by the end, both teams were going at it pretty good.

The 2013 ASG showcased the talents of Chris Paul. CP3 showed why he's the best point guard in the NBA right now, and showed why he's in the 'World's Best' conversation.

I thought this game would belong to Lebron James. Again, it's just the ASG, but this was an opportunity for Lebron to truly show that he's head and shoulders above the rest. In the end, it didn't look that way.

Kobe Bryant stepped up and stole the show Sunday night. CP3 was no doubt the MVP, but people will always remember Kobe's defense in the final minutes against Lebron. Bryant blocked James twice and came up with a steal that would lock up the victory for the West.

As with any Kobe vs. Lebron debate, you're going to hear two sides that are far apart. I'm closer to the side that says this means something. Kobe made Lebron look bad, whether it was in an ASG or not, James didn't look good.

Still, it was an exhibition game, and James has had Bryant's number for the most part in their regular season matchups. The sad thing is that we probably won't ever get to see these two duke it out on the grandest stage unless the Los Angeles Lakers get it together:

With that, we take a look at the lasting images from the 2013 NBA All-Star Game:

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Lebron James Entering the Building

Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports
Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports

It's tough to beat an entrance from the floor...

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Kevin Durant with an Epic Entrance

Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports
Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports

Further proof that entrance music makes everyone seem cooler.

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An Example of the Ferocious Defense Played in the ASG

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

This is the main beef with the ASG - nobody plays defense. I could care less though. People pay to see dunks and spectacular offensive plays. They don't pay to see a defensive struggle.

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Russell Westbrook Showing Some Hang Time

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

Westbrook had a good showing, going 7 for 13 with 14 points. He's no doubt one of the most naturally gifted athletes in the game.

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Joakim Noah on the Boards

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

This is how Noah got to the ASG. He's averaging 11 and 11 so far this season. There will always be a place for players like Noah in the NBA.

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A Confusing Scene

Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports
Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports

Melo looks terrified, Kobe has a sense of urgency on this face, and Dwight Howard - we're just not quite sure what he's thinking.

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Lebron Doing that Thing he Does

Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports
Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports

Hey, everyone has to have a trademark taunt, and Lebron has picked this. Whatever 'this' is...

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Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard in a Jump Ball Situation

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

Have to love the top down jump ball photo. It's always a cool picture when you look and the game from the top down.

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Kyrie Irving Shows off His Skills

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

All-Star weekend was a coming out party for Irving. He showed his range by winning the 3 Point-Shootout - then followed it up by keeping the East in the game late in the fourth quarter. It looks like Irving is on his way to the top of the list of NBA point guards.

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Lebron Airborne

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

Why doesn't Lebron enter the Dunk Contest? He throws it down better than almost anyone in the league. After a year full of misses in the contest, fans would just like to see some star players than can make the dunks on the first try. We've seen about all the dunks possible, so now it's time to put the stars back in to regain interest.

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Kobe Bryant Goes Behind the Back

Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports
Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports

One of many behind the back passes in the ASG.

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Bosh and Kevin Garnett in a 'No you Go' Moment

Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports
Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports

Normally KG would be clinched onto this ball ready to throw some bows, but not in the ASG.

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Kevin Durant Skies for a Dunk

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

As Michael Cole would say, this is 'vintage' Kevin Durant.

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Jrue Holiday and Zach Randolph Get Up

Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports
Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports

Just a really cool basketball moment frozen in time from the players, to the coaches in the background.

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Lebron from the Backboard Cam

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

You have to love the backboard cam.

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Blake Griffin Dunks While Durant Jumps

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

Griffin showed off his ridiculous dunking skills over and over in this game. Griffin versus Lebron in the Dunk Contest would be priceless. That's the kind of matchup people would want to see.

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Blake Griffin Getting 'Mauled'

Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports
Pool-Photo-USA-TODAY-Sports

Griffin, again is in the middle of something ridiculous. Does it really hurt that bad?

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Chris Paul Showing He's One of the Game's Best

Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports
Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports

When you talk about the greatest basketball players on Earth, Chris Paul has to be in that conversation. He's the best point guard in the game, and Sunday night he showed a killer instinct in the final minutes to seal the win and the MVP award.

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CP3 MVP

Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports
Brett-Davis-USA-TODAY-Sports

The ASG MVP trophy is pretty cool. It seems to be an honor that most premier players want to win at least once in their careers.

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Kobe Shuts Down Lebron in the Final Minutes

Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports
Bob-Donnan-USA-TODAY-Sports

Kobe's defense on Lebron in the final minutes of the fourth quarter will go down in ASG history. This is what people will remember about 2013. In the scheme of things, it isn't that big of a deal, but it just looks bad for Lebron. Kobe doesn't care what the occasion is, he's going to bring it. This has always been the difference between the two.

The reality though, is that James and the Heat are headed back to the Conference Finals, where as the Lakers will be lucky just to sneak in the playoffs. That's what really matters. However, on the night of February 17, 2013, Kobe got the best of Lebron. His block on King James will be the lasting image from this installment of the ASG. (Sorry it wasn't available from USA Today Sports, but clearly they do a great job.)

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