Kelvin Hawes dominates as West crush East
- By The Commissioner, Day 121, 2022
Kelvin Hawes sure is having a charmed season.
The regular season MVP favourite won the 2022 All-Star Game MVP and led the West All-Stars to a crushing 164-141 over the East All-Stars in front of 50,000 fans at the JBL National Stadium. Hawes had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists to go along with 3 blocks as the West never let up a lead.
During a bruising opening quarter where the West came out of the blocks on fire and shocked the seemingly sleepy East, Hawes combined with MVP incumbent Dontay Sowder from the Lightning and Denver point guard Jevon Novak, hitting 5 threes in a row and setting the West up for victory. Sowder had 15 of his 25 points in the first quarter as he dominated Darius Barry and Alonzo Weaver on the perimeter.
Kelvin Hawes could not be stopped as he feasted on the lack of big men in the East squad, was one of the criticisms of the voting outcomes. When he wanted position on the low block he had it, hitting on 11/13 field goals, 7/7 free throws and even draining a 25 foot three pointer. Taquan Slattery is often touted as the next big thing, but this All-Star Game showed how far he has to come to be regarded at the level upon which Hawes is currently sitting. Leon Bowen was simply too slow for Hawes' array of spin moves and baby hooks that he displayed from his arsenal.
The crushing first half by the West resulted in the second half of the game being more of a streetball matchup, with players shooting open jumpers from all over the court (and a few times from almost near half court). Debutant All-Star Brandon Terry shot 4/11 from three and last year’s All-Star MVP Jason Cheaney shot 25 field goal attempts in just 33 minutes for his 26 points, but most of the points came when the game was already out of reach. Forwards Darius Barry and Alonzo Weaver combined for a disappointing statistical output but had an crowd-pleasing alley oop in the third quarter, with Weaver tossing a pass off the backboard on a fast break to the sprinting Barry, who gathered it with one handed and roared upon landing.
For the West, Lamar Francis impressed with 20 points and array of dunks, while Andre Phifer showed that his game has come a long way from the days of being regarded as a "chucker", playing point guard and deliberately passing up open looks to garner 22 points and 14 assists (well above his regular season career high of 12 assists). Novak contributed 15 points and Honeycutt 14 points off the bench.
Earlier in the day, Antonio Vega from Mexico City defeated Antoine Peeler 24-22 in the Three Point Contest, while Detrez Owens from Cincinnati completed two perfect dunks in the final dunk-off to defeat Las Vegas rookie Damon Muuray in the Dunk Contest.
All-Star Game Boxscore