Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard took home the first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP Award, following team LeBron's 157-155 win over Team Giannis.
In his fourth All-Star game appearance, Leonard turned in a spectacular performance, recording a game-high 30 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, lighting it up from beyond the arc.
In a dominant first-half, Leonard was the best player on the floor, scoring 25 of his 30 points, connecting on seven three-pointers, which tied the All-Star game record for threes made in a half.
He finished the game shooting 11-of-18 from the field and 8-of-14 from the three-point line.
"Thank you. This one's for him." 💜💛- NBA (@NBA) February 17, 2020
Kawhi Leonard thanks the late Kobe Bryant upon winning the first-ever Kia NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award. pic.twitter.com/o8YS1jLRy9
"It means a lot to me," Leonard said post-game. "You know, words can't even explain, making this the first Kobe Bryant MVP trophy. I want to thank Kobe for everything he's done for me. All the long talks and workouts. Thank you. This one's for him."
The new 'Elam Ending' format which saw both teams race to 157 points in the fourth quarter for the win, turned the game into a thriller, with the game coming right down to the wire as both teams turned up the heat on the defensive end.
Kawhi's Kobe story had the guys rolling 😂😭- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2020
Leonard finished with seven of the 12 votes for MVP, with LeBron James the next closest with three. Anthony Davis and Chris Paul received one vote each.