Pelicans' Jose Alvarado steals show, wins Rising Stars MVP

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Saturday, February 18, 2023

New Orleansguard Jose Alvarado's drifting 3-pointer clinched a 25-20 win for Team Pau (Gasol) over Team Joakim (Noah) in the title game of the Rising Stars event Friday at All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City.

Alvarado, who was named the Most Valuable Player, had five points in the title game. The win capped a memorable day for Gasol, who was named a Basketball Hall of Fame finalist earlier Friday.

"I'm going out on top. It may be one and done for me,'' Gasol said of his coaching debut.

New York's Quentin Grimes scored 14 points in the final but was wrapped up -- literally held at times -- by Alvarado down the stretch.

"I didn't know you could do that in the Rising Stars game. I should have alerted the refs to call a technical or something,'' Grimes said. "It was all fun but I was going for the win tonight.''

Said Alvarado: "It might not have been [legal], but he was doing good."

The four teams, comprised of 21 first- and second-year NBA players along with seven G League players, competed in semifinals games to a target score of 40.

Alvarado's 13 points helped Team Pau top Team Deron (Williams) in the first game 40-27, despite an array of spectacular dunks by Trey Murphy III. In the second semifinal, Grimes scored 13 points, including the winning 3, to power Team Joakim over Team Jason (Terry), composed of the G Leaguers.

Mac McClung, who is competing in Saturday's Dunk Contest, nearly stole the show with 10 points in the comeback bid but missed a jam on his last attempt.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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