Brian Witt

Kevin Durant excited for 'bragging rights' as MVP of NBA All-Star Game

Kevin Durant excited for 'bragging rights' as MVP of NBA All-Star Game

Out of all the stars on the court at the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte on Sunday night, Kevin Durant shone the brightest.

He, Klay Thompson and Team LeBron defeated Steph Curry and Team Giannis 178-164 in the annual showcase game, and when all was said and done, it was Durant raising the game's MVP trophy above his head.

"All these players are great, you know," Durant said upon receiving the trophy. "We're mixing up the conferences, and there's so many great players in the league. So to be out here amongst so much greatness, I appreciate it."

Team Giannis actually led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, but Durant and Team LeBron staged a late comeback and dominated over the final 18 minutes of play. Durant accounted for a team-high 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point range, in addition to seven rebounds and two assists.

"This will definitely give me some bragging rights, me and Klay," Durant said of Team LeBron's winning performance. "But Steph did hit that tough shot over Klay, so I'm sure we're gonna be talking about that for the next couple of days.

[RELATED: Splash Brothers share funny moment during All-Star Game]

"I'm glad I got the MVP, as well."

It marked Durant's second time being named MVP of the All-Star Game, after he won the award for the first time back in 2012. He becomes just the fourth player in Warriors franchise history to be named All-Star MVP, and the first to do so since Rick Barry in 1967.

"It's all sweet to me. It's hard to rank," Durant said of his All-Star Game MVP award. "Everything is special. But it was cool to be out there with the best players in the game. Keep trying to rack them up, I guess."

If Durant and the Warriors continue on the trajectory they've been on ever since he signed with Golden State in July 2016 -- of course, his upcoming free agency could play a major factor -- he should have plenty of opportunities to add to that total in the future.

Following the game, Durant spoke with the “Inside the NBA” crew about how he compares the current Warriors team to the ones that have won the last two NBA championships.

"I think we're all a little bit more seasoned," Durant said. "I think we've been together for a couple years, and we know our tendencies and we know exactly what we need to do on offense and defense to compliment each other."

Now that All-Star festivities have come to an end, the time for individual accolades has as well. Only 25 games separate the Warriors from the postseason, and despite winning All-Star MVP, Durant has much bigger goals in mind.

Steph Curry, Klay Thompson go at each other during NBA All-Star Game

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Steph Curry, Klay Thompson go at each other during NBA All-Star Game

The NBA All-Star Game isn't known for its defense.

Still, the Splash Brothers had to try.

Warriors stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were on opposite teams for the 2019 All-Star Game on Sunday night in Charlotte, and each had the opportunity to defend the other.

In the first half, it was Curry's turn on defense:

Way to contest, Steph.

Then, in the second half, Klay had a chance for retribution.

Hint: It didn't go very well. 

Talk about adding some trash-talk ammunition. Klay isn't likely to hear the end of that until the next All-Star Game, if he's lucky.

He did get the last laugh over his fellow Splash Brother, though. Thompson and Team LeBron prevailed over Curry and Team Giannis by a final score of 178-164.

Like I said, not a lot of defense.

Klay got the last laugh, but Steph got the last word.

Between a ridiculous bounce pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo for an alley-oop and a bounce pass to himself for a reverse dunk, it appears Mr. Curry might not be done revolutionizing the sport.

Watch Steph Curry bounce ridiculous alley-oop to Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Watch Steph Curry bounce ridiculous alley-oop to Giannis Antetokounmpo

Leave it to Steph Curry to get the NBA All-Star crowd on its feet.

The Warriors star did exactly that Sunday night, combining with team captain Giannis Antetokounmpo for the early highlight of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte.

That's right. Curry bounced a pass over the head of Kevin Durant (typically a teammate of his, but not on this night), perfectly placing it for Antetokounmpo and his outrageous length to complete the atypical alley-oop.

Both teams -- Giannis and LeBron -- couldn't help but be impressed.

And, sure, a lot of defense typically isn’t played in the annual All-Star game, but that didn't stop Curry from trying.

Now, as fun as that was, we can confidently state the Splash Brothers are more fun when playing together than against one another.

But the Splash Brothers with Giannis?

Now there's something to dream about.