Kyle Kuzma Named Most Valuable Player of the Rising Stars Challenge



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The weekend of the NBA All-Star began Friday night in Charlotte, starting with the long-awaited Rising Stars Challenge.

The All-Star match pitted some of the league's best young talents, divided into the world team and the American team.

Although it was a close battle during most of the competition, filled with many expected highlights of a star game, it was Kyle Kuzma who led the American team to a 161-144 victory against Team World at the Spectrum Center.

Kuzma, who was named the game's most valuable player, finished with 35 points, six rebounds and five assists, shooting 15 times 27 of the field and 3 of 10 of the 3-point line.

Kuzma has averaged 19.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game so far this season for the Los Angeles Lakers, his second in the league.

"Last year, the world team kicked us," Kuzma said after the match, via TNT. "They came here and beat us by 30. Many of us remember it, so we just wanted to win. And there is a $ 25,000 bonus for winning the game, so that's fine. "

Jayson Tatum finished with 30 points for the United States team, shooting 12 out of 24 of the field. Trae Young added 25 points on the bench, scoring 6 of his 11 points on the 3-point line. Donovan Mitchell and Marvin Bagley added 20 points and 14 points, respectively.

Ben Simmons led the world team with 28 points, six assists and five rebounds. He managed 14 shots out of 17 extremely effective. Lauri Markkanen finished with 21 points and Deandre Ayton, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander all added 15 points.

Although the game does not have much to do, Kuzma said there was still a lot to be done. And more importantly, he said, he's ready to turn around and make a decisive playoff pass with the Lakers.

"At the end of the day, fitness is a good thing," Kuzma said via TNT. "I have been sitting on my buttocks for a few days. Back in Los Angeles, we have to push for the playoffs, so I'm just trying to get ready for that and the race. "

Kyle Kuzma was named MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night. He led Team USA, past Team World, to launch the All-Star weekend in Charlotte. (Jesse D. Garrabrant / Getty Images)

Many great highlights

While the US team, which lost last year's game, led most of the game, both teams had many decisive moments throughout the match.

Atlanta Hawks' great John Collins started the dunk contest early Friday night and had several big slams throughout the contest.

His Hawks teammate, Trae Young, also found him for a 360-perfect ally in the middle of the third quarter, proving to everyone that he was ready to participate in the Saturday night dunk contest.

Bagley had a huge dunk with both hands at the windmill in the second quarter, cleaning up a miss with ease.

Markkanen and Luka Doncic connected early for Team World as well, while Doncic attacked the Bulls with a lobeless look.

The weekend of the stars will continue next Saturday with the challenge of skills, the contest of 3 points and the slam dunk contest. The all-star game will end Sunday night to conclude the weekend.

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