Stoudemire leads Sophomores past Rookies
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire scored a
Rookie Challenge record 36 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, as the Sophomores
crushed the Rookies, 142-118 in the opening event during the All-Star
festivities at Staples Center.
Stoudemire, who was last year’s Rookie of the Year, was named the game’s MVP.
He eclipsed the previous high of 31 points in this game set by Kobe Bryant in
1997 and Jason Richardson in last year’s contest.
Cleveland’s Carlos Boozer and Ronald Murray of the SuperSonics each
contributed 25 points for the Sophomores, who have won two straight games in
this series. Murray also had a game-high 10 assists and Detroit’s Tayshaun
Prince contributed 18 points for the second-year players, who made 65-of-98
shot attempts for the game (66 percent).
LeBron James of the Cavaliers poured in 33 points on 15-of-26 shooting for the
Rookies, who trail the all-time series 3-2. Miami’s Dwyane Wade added 22
points and Carmelo Anthony of the Nuggets netted 17 for the Rookies, who
connected on 55 percent of their shots (54-of-99).
The Rookies did lead by seven in the early stages of the game, but the
Sophomores rallied and eventually built a 49-34 advantage with just over seven
minutes left in the first half. The cushion grew to 18 points at 60-42 on a
jumper by Murray with 4:20 left in the stanza and the Sophomores held a 72-59
lead after an entertaining first half.
The 72 points were the most points ever scored by one team and the 131
combined points in the first half were also a record in the five-year history
of this game.
In the first half, the second-year stars made a whopping 71 percent of their
shots (34-of-48) and were paced by Prince’s 15 points. The Rookies, who shot a
sizzling 53 percent (26-of-49), were paced by James’ 20.
Stoudemire staked the Sophomores to an 89-70 lead with just under 15 minutes
left and the gap widened to 23 points later in the half en route to the
blowout victory. The Sophomores did lead by as many as 30 points in the game.