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It’s finally the day we’ve all been waiting for.  There has been a lot of build-up and tons of great stuff put out by Suns.com.  With 9 people roaming around Phoenix and reporting everything they’ve experienced on Suns.com, you can check out what was happening at All-Star Weekend even if you weren’t able to attend yourself.  But everything that we’ve done during the past week was to prepare for tonight’s game.  For three hours, you’ll be able to watch arguably the best basketball players in the world play together on one court.  For basketball fans, there isn’t much better than this.  

Check back throughout the evening for live updates on the game and events in the arena that you may not see on TV.

9:20 pm - The end of the game turned into a dunk contest since the outcome of the game was not in question.  The West won the game 146-119.  I’m not sure if that is the highest score an All-Star game has had but it is probably pretty close.  Thanks to everyone for reading and enjoying all of the festivities this weekend.  It’s been a fun week in Phoenix and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.  Leave your comments on the All-Star game below!

9:05 pm - The East is trying to make a comeback but keep missing their shots.  Not a great way to try and reduce the lead the West currently has.  The West has basically turned the game into a playground-style event where they try to make the coolest passes and shots and outdo one another.  And even with that, the East can’t really catch up.  With 5:55 left in the game, the score is 124-108 in favor of the West.

8:50 pm - Shaquille O’Neal is teaching Rashard Lewis all kinds of tricks in this third quarter.  It would be hard to play against a motivated Shaq in front of his hometown fans in an All-Star game.  Shaq has taken over the quarter and is even making his free throws (or at least some of them).  The West continued to extend their lead throughout the third quarter and the quarter ends with the West in the lead, 110-91.  But as Phoenix Stan just said on Twitter: “If Allen Iverson still breathes, no lead is safe in an All-Star Game.”

8:40 pm - The NBA showed a different “Love Songs” commercial tonight than they did last night.  It had several NBA players singing love songs including Shaq singing Caribbean Queen and Amar’e singing, what else, That’s Amore (or Amar’e).  With 4 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, Shaq made a pass that looked like he passed it between a defender’s legs, got the pass back and dunked with a driving layup.  Now that’s All-Star material!

8:25 pm - After the halftime show, a presentation of Olympic rings to the players who won them and the player warm-ups, we’re back to the game.  Amare had a great driving dunk and the West has extended their lead back to 13.  This is a better performance by the West starters than we got in the first half.  

8:00 pm - The biggest cheer of the night went to a video message from Barack Obama.  I know he likes basketball but I’m sure the security just wouldn’t have been enough at an event like this for him to show up.  John Legend and Juanes were the halftime entertainment.  Usually people leave their seats at halftime in order to do whatever they don’t want to do during the game.  But from my viewpoint, I think about 90% of the crowd stayed in their seats for the performance.  That’s going to make for some very crowded bathrooms and concession lines during the third quarter!

7:45 pm - Bill Russell was honored during the timeout.  The NBA is naming the Finals MVP trophy after him.  I guess it’s also his 75th birthday today so they brought out a huge green 75 cake for him.  I was walking in the halls last night and saw him so I stopped to wait for him to walk past.  I didn’t want to bother him by talking to him but I can now say that I stood next to Bill Russell.  It’s something I can mark off my “NBA Wish List.”   The rest of the quarter went about as expected.  Brandon Roy did have a couple of good dunks.  At halftime, the score is 76-72, West lead.

7:37 pm – The Phoenix Suns’ Dancing Dads and Golden Grannies just performed for the arena crowd and they did great.  My favorite part:  When all the grannies did the actions to “2 Legit 2 Quit.”  Something is funny about a woman with graying hair doing that.  Back to the game, Amar’e Stoudemire has entered again.   With the score tied at 56, Amare Stoudemire grabbed a rebound off a Kobe Bryant missed shot and put it back for two.  Yet another timeout.  The West is up 62-58 with about 3 minutes to go in the half.

7:30 pm - Danny Granger finally had the first big dunk of the second quarter with about seven minutes to go.  The East has caught up from their previous deficit and the players’ competitiveness is starting to come out.  I didn’t think that happened until the fourth quarter of an All-Star game but maybe these guys have decided they really want to win this thing.  More timeouts are starting to be called.  With 5:18 to go in the half, the West is up on the East, 54-50.

7:20 pm – For the first several minutes of the 2nd quarter, the teams traded baskets.  There were no huge runs like there were in the previous quarter.  There were a lot of jump shots or layups but not any great dunks or passes.  Either none of these guys are great at defense or they’ve decided to see if they can get a combined 300 points With 8:16 left in the 2nd quarter, the score is 46-40.  The West has the lead.

7:15 pm - With Shaq in the game, the West has had 3 steals and went on a 7-0 run before the East decided that they should maybe shake things up on their end by bringing in some reserves.  Shaq had great defense and a steal against Devin Harris and that lead to a Kobe Bryant Dunk.  Even the reserves couldn’t stop the East bleeding with Shaq in the game.  The West went on an 11-point run before the East decided to use one of their time-outs.  During the timeout the Gorilla got a bunch of his mascot friends together to dunk on the trampoline.  For the finale, they brought out a big cactus and dunked over it.  Quite impressive!  After the timeout, Shaq gave a great pass to Tony Parker to continue the West’s run and followed it up by one of his patented dunks.  The West ended the quarter on a 24-7 run and lead 34-27.

7:00 pm – There is 5:44 left in the quarter and the West is down 20-10 .   Maybe the rims are tight on the West’s end of the court because even Kobe can’t hit anything from as close as the free throw line.   Kobe got his first two points with an amazing dunk.  With two great dunks in the first quarter, I think ESPN could possibly come up with a top-10 dunks of the All-Star game.  The West finally had to call a time out to get some things in order.  Shaq is now in the game so hopefully that will add some fire to the team.

6:46 pm - The West hasn’t started out well and is already in a 5 point hole in the first minute of the game!  Amar’e has taken one shot.  And Alen Iverson just schooled somebody while driving to the basket.  That’ll be on a highlight reel somewhere.

6:38 pm - I got a little caught up in the introductions and forgot to type what was going on.  I’m not sure what it looked like on TV but it was pretty cool in person.  The rehearsals went a little differently than the real thing.  Shaq didn’t do the starting announcements like they had practiced but he did dance with the JabawokeeZ and that was pretty good.  He can definitely move for a big man.  Next we listened to Tamia Hill sing Oh Canada! and Jordin Sparks sing The Star-Spangled Banner.  They both did amazingly well.  It’s amazing what good singers can do for both of those songs.

6:22 pm - The All-Stars have left the court to get ready for introductions and the Suns Dancers are out trying to get the crowd excited.  Ced Ceballos is the MC for tonight’s in-arena activities.There is still a lot of media on the court so I think we’re a few minutes from the game starting.  

6:00 pm – Let’s get this party started!  The All-Stars are all out on the court warming up, the celebrities are slowly filling in and the atmosphere is definitely electric.  It’s always fun to go to an NBA game but I’m not sure if it is the fact that I’m seeing celebrities everywhere, that there is a huge stage at the corner of the court or that this is what I’ve been working on for more than a week that makes this game feel more special.  Or it could be the fact that every player on the court is an absolutely awesome basketball player.

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