Bradley Beal had his best showing in an NBA All-Star game yet on Sunday night with a career-high 26 points, second in Wizards/Bullets franchise history only to Moses Malone who had 27 points and 18 rebounds in 1987.
Beal, a three-time All-Star, had previously scored 11 points in the 2019 game and 14 in 2018. This was his first time as an All-Star starter and he also played a career-high 31 minutes.
Despite having his best All-Star game and leading his team in scoring, Beal took a backseat to some of the league's most accomplished players. Giannis Antetkounmpo won the All-Star MVP award with 35 points. Damian Lillard had 32 points and hit the final shot, which he released just steps inside the halfcourt line. And Stephen Curry had 28 points and made eight threes.
Beal played for Team Durant which was captained by Kevin Durant, who missed the game due to injury. Team LeBron, led by LeBron James, won all four quarters. The teams were competing each quarter for donations to charity. Team LeBron represented the Thurgood Marshall Fund, while Team Durant was representing the United Negro College Fund.
A highlight for Beal was playing on the same team as Jayson Tatum. Beal and Tatum grew up together in St. Louis, MO and have been good friends for many years. Before Sunday, however, they had never played on the same team in an organized basketball game. Tatum started in Durant's place and ended up with 21 points.
Beal's first points on Sunday came on a layup in the first quarter after he spun around Nikola Jokic on the baseline. He also scored on a Euro step past Luka Doncic in the lane, and he made six threes. In addition to the 26 points, Beal had four assists and two rebounds.
Beal, 27, was named a starter after sweeping the All-Star votes by fans, players and the media. He led all Eastern Conference guards in fan voting and had the seventh-most votes of any player.
The 2021 All-Star game was played in Atlanta, GA. The NBA held the skills competition, three-point shootout and dunk contest all on the same night. Domantas Sabonis, Curry and Anfernee Simons were the winners.