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NEW ORLEANS (AP) \u2014 It was the fourth quarter of the All-Star Game, and a few fans started yelling loudly enough for DeAndre Jordan to hear them from his spot on the Western Conference bench.

Their cry: \"De-fense! De-fense!\"

Jordan's shout back: \"No, no, no!\"

The moment was both hilarious and fitting. Defense was in short supply on Sunday night during the NBA's showcase game, one where Anthony Davis smashed a 55-year-old record with 52 points and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182. And it prompted some questions afterward on whether the glorified exhibition really needs to see at least the appearance of defense return.

\"All-Star is about offense and giving the crowd a show, but if they want to see a little more defense as fans and everything \u2014 I mean, nobody wants to go out here and get hurt,\" said Davis, the game's MVP in his home arena. \"It's all about fun. ... I love it. I don't really care. I'll go out there and have fun. I didn't play any defense.\"

Few did.

There were 33 steals in the game, sure, but most of those were the byproduct of bad passes than picked pockets. There were 16 fouls, mainly ones players were taking to stop the clock and allow substitutions; only four were of the shooting variety. Stephen Curry laid down on the court at one point while Giannis Antetokounmpo was driving in for what became one of his 12 dunks.

\"I'm going to play hard no matter what,\" Antetokounmpo said. \"That's the only thing I know how to do.\"

Davis took 39 shots, making 26, both of those now All-Star records. The game also established records for total points (384), most field goals (162), most assists (103), most assists by one team (West with 60), most points in one quarter (101, first) and so on. The East set a rather dubious record, establishing a new high score by a losing team for the third consecutive season.

Put simply, it's not a real game, and real-game thinking doesn't apply. LeBron James made a shot from nearly half-court, something he would never try in a competitive situation.

He loves defense. He wasn't missing it on Sunday.

\"I think the biggest thing coming out of the game is that everybody leaves injury-free,\" James said. \"We gave the fans what they wanted to see and everyone left injury-free. Another successful All-Star weekend for myself and everyone.\"

West coach Steve Kerr said he and East coach Brad Stevens had jobs on Sunday night akin to the person who played the role of the title character in \"Weekend at Bernie's,\" that being a deceased man who gets dragged from place to place and propped up to somehow give others the illusion that he's still actually alive.

Kerr's point: How All-Star games are played isn't up to the coaches, but rather it'll be the players who decide if they want defense back.

\"It would be good to possibly incentivize the guys somehow,\" Kerr said. \"I don't know if you can maybe get their charities involved or winner-take-all type thing, but I think it's possible to play a lot harder without taking a charge. We know what silly is out there, if you're undercutting guys, but it's almost gone too far the other way where there's just no resistance at all. I think there's a happy medium in there somewhere.\"

East guard Kyrie Irving expects that the game will change.

Like many, he said avoiding injury in the All-Star Game is paramount and that's certainly understandable. But he also expressed a wish that the games had a bit more of a competitive aspect.

\"I think going forward, the All-Star experience will probably get a little harder in terms of defense,\" Irving said.

Down the stretch, the East did apparently try to raise the defensive bar. Stevens said it was discussed in the fourth quarter, with hopes of putting the East in position to win the game.

He almost sounded disappointed in how the flow went.

\"We talked about trying to get back in it at the end and talked about how, obviously, the one way to do that is keep people in front of you,\" Stevens said. \"But, no, it probably should have been a bigger emphasis in retrospect now.\"

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PRO BASKETBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) \u2014 DeMarcus Cousins is sticking around New Orleans to help the Pelicans make a 25-game push for the playoffs.

The Pelicans agreed to acquire Cousins from Sacramento on Sunday, the same night the center was playing in the All-Star Game in their arena.

The Kings dealt Cousins and Omri Casspi to New Orleans in exchange for Tyreke Evans, 2016 first-round draft pick Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks this summer, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade was not official and had not been announced by either team.

The deal pairs the 6-foot-11 Cousins, a frontcourt All-Star from nearby Mobile, Alabama, with the 6-11 Anthony Davis, who on Sunday night was the All-Star Game MVP after scoring 52 points, breaking Wilt Chamberlain's 1962 record of 42.

At the defense-free dunkfest that now serves as the NBA's All-Star Game, Davis led the Western Conference past the Eastern Conference, 192-182. He made 26 of 39 shots, scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and became the first player since Kobe Bryant in 2011 to win MVP honors on his home floor.

Davis was the star of stars in a game where the teams combined for more points than in any other All-Star contest. It came on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo had more dunks \u2014 12 \u2014 than his name has consonants and LeBron James became the first player to eclipse 300 points in an All-Star career.

GOLF

LOS ANGELES (AP) \u2014 Dustin Johnson went to No. 1 in the world with a world-class performance at Riviera.

Johnson birdied his last three holes of the third round Sunday morning for a five-shot lead, stretched it to nine shots and coasted home to an even-par 71 and a five-shot victory in the Genesis Open.

Johnson became the 20th player to reach No. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986, and he ended Jason Day's 47-week stay at the top.

The U.S. Open champion also got that elusive victory at one of his favorite courses. He had chances to win four of the last five years, and this one was never in doubt.

Johnson went 49 straight holes without a bogey until a sloppy finish that didn't matter.

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) \u2014 Fred Couples won the Chubb Classic on Sunday for his 12th PGA Tour Champions title and first since 2014, rallying to beat Miguel Angel Jimenez at TwinEagles.

The 57-year-old Couples shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to finish at 16-under 200 on the Talon Course, three strokes ahead of second-round leader Jimenez.

Also the 2010 event winner at The Quarry, Couples won for the first time since the 2014 Shaw Charity Classic in Alberta. The Hall of Famer, long hampered by back problems, won 15 times on the PGA Tour \u2014 his lone major coming in the 1992 Masters.

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) \u2014 Ha Na Jang had an eagle and three birdies over her last six holes in a superb finish Sunday that set up a three-shot victory in the Women's Australian Open.

The South Korean closed with a 4-under 69 to finish at 10 under at Royal Adelaide. No. 6-ranked Jang finished three shots ahead of Nanna Madsen of Denmark. Haru Nomura, the 2016 champion, finished in a four-way tie for third place at 6 under with No. 2-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Australians Minjee Lee and Sarah Jane Smith.

PERTH, Australia (AP) \u2014 Brett Rumford beat Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand 2 and 1 in the final round of match play Sunday to claim the first World Super 6 tournament title near where he grew up in West Australia.

Rumford led by five strokes at 17-under 199 after 54 holes of stroke play in the experimental golf tournament at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Western Australia, which is being sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasian tours.

GYMNASTICS

NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 Three former elite U.S. gymnasts, including 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher, have come forward saying they were sexually abused by a former doctor currently facing trial on a separate matter.

Dantzscher, three-time U.S. rhythmic gymnastics champion Jessica Howard and former national team member Jeanette Antolin appeared on \"60 Minutes\" on Sunday , detailing what they have claimed is sexual abuse by Dr. Larry Nassar. All three accused Nassar, a volunteer team doctor for USA Gymnastics for almost three decades before his tenure ended in July 2015 of touching them inappropriately while he disguised the abuse as treatment.

Dantzscher, who helped the U.S. team earn a team bronze at the 2000 Olympics, filed a lawsuit against Nassar in California last September as \"Jane Doe.\" She gave up her anonymity for \"60 Minutes\" and described how she was sent to visit Nassar to receive treatment for lower back pain.

BASEBALL

PHOENIX (AP) \u2014 Baseball union chief Tony Clark called the public comments surrounding the salary arbitration hearing involving Yankees reliever Dellin Betances \"unprecedented\" and \"unprofessional.\"

On Saturday, New York Yankees President Randy Levine said Betances' representatives had \"over-the-top demands based on very little sense of reality\" seeking a $5 million salary for 2017. The Yankees won Friday's hearing and are set to pay Betances $3 million for this season.

\"There was a lot said,\" Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said Sunday during his annual visit to the Cactus League in spring training. \"That was most troubling thing. The arbitration has been around a long time. The folks that have been involved in the process, particularly with this particular case, have been around a long time. As you read and heard yesterday, that conversation and the particulars in some level related to that case being made public in the fashion that they were, is unprecedented and is unprofessional and should not have happened in the fashion that it did.\"

Betances called it \"unfair\" to take him into a room to \"trash me for about an hour and a half.\" Levine accused the pitcher's agents of using him to chase what Levine considered closer-like money though Betances is a setup man.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) \u2014 Michigan State starting guard Eron Harris will need season-ending surgery on his injured right knee, ending his college career.

Harris, a 6-foot-3 transfer who played his first two seasons at West Virginia, was hurt in the second half of Michigan State's 80-63 loss at No. 16 Purdue on Saturday. Harris had an MRI and the diagnosis was that surgery was required.

Harris, from Indianapolis, finished his career with 1,489 points. He started 46 of 62 games at Michigan State, including 24 this season. He was third on the Spartans with a 10.7 point scoring average.

AUTO RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) \u2014 Chase Elliott nipped Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final qualifying lap to win his second straight pole for the Daytona 500.

Elliott turned a lap at 192.872 mph on Sunday to just edge Earnhardt's speed of 192.864. Elliott and Earnhardt gave Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet a 1-2 front row for NASCAR's biggest race.

Elliott also made it three straight years for the No. 24 on the pole. Jeff Gordon won the pole in 2015 in his final season before he retired and turned the car over to Elliott.

The rest of the field will be set Thursday in the two qualifying races.

TENNIS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) \u2014 American Ryan Harrison beat Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Memphis Open for his first career ATP World Tour title.

Harrison, 24, took the first set in 27 minutes before fighting off 10 break points in the second to win the match in 1 hour, 16 minutes. For the match, Harrison saved all 12 break points faced.

He took home the winner's check of $114,595 and 250 points. He joined Gilles Muller (Sydney) as a first-time winner on tour this year and is the first to make Memphis his inaugural ATP title since Joachim Johansson in 2004. Harrison also became the 14th American to win Memphis in the 41-year history of this indoor event and first since Andy Roddick in 2011.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) \u2014 DeMarcus Cousins is on his way out of Sacramento \u2014 and right into an All-Star frontcourt pairing with Anthony Davis.

The New Orleans Pelicans agreed to acquire Cousins from the Kings on Sunday, the same night the center was playing in the All-Star Game in their arena.

The Kings dealt one of the most talented but temperamental big men in the game along with Omri Casspi to New Orleans in exchange for Tyreke Evans, 2016 first-round draft pick Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks this summer, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade is not official and has not been announced by either team.

The deal pairs the 6-foot-11 Cousins, a frontcourt All-Star from nearby Mobile, Alabama, with the 6-11 Davis, who on Sunday night was the All-Star Game MVP after scoring 52 points, breaking Wilt Chamberlain's 1962 record of 42.

The move also sends a message that the Pelicans are more concerned with making a 25-game push for the playoffs this spring then where they'll be drafting next offseason.

The deal was still in the works when Cousins spoke with reporters after the All-Star Game, when he played just two minutes as trade rumors swirled.

He said he was happy with the Kings, but would also be happy playing closer to home and alongside Davis.

\"If I'm blessed enough to have a job here, absolutely,\" Cousins said. \"If that's what happens.\"

New Orleans (23-34) went into the All-Star break 2 \u00bd games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff seeding in the Western Conference.

Cousins, like Davis a former collegiate star at Kentucky, is averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds this season. But he is due to become a free agent in 2018 unless the Pelicans can sign him to an All-Star caliber extension. New Orleans will also have to hope Cousins can dial back some of his after-the-whistle intensity and antics. He leads the NBA in technical fouls with 17, putting him one away from another one-game suspension.

While Davis said after the All-Star Game that he wasn't aware of an impending trade, he said he admired Cousins as a player.

\"He's a great player, dominant in this league, of course, with all the numbers he puts up,\" Davis said. \"Of course, DeMarcus is an elite player in this league.\"

But the Kings decided to move on without him, having not made the playoffs since taking Cousins with the No. 5 pick in the 2010 draft.

The Kings get a player with a lot of potential in the 6-4 Hield, although he has been inconsistent during his rookie season out of Oklahoma, where as a senior he was one of the best players in the nation.

Hield is averaging 8.6 points but has been explosive at times, with a season high of 21 points. The 6-6 Evans, who can play point guard, shooting guard or small forward, will be entering a second stint in Sacramento, where he was drafted in 2009 and went on to be Rookie of the Year. Galloway has been a solid reserve, providing scoring punch from the perimeter.

The 6-9 Casspi has been playing about 19 minutes per game for the Kings this season, averaging 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds.

"}, {"id":"6681d5c6-ae6d-581f-b5b7-a14c90c85025","type":"article","starttime":"1487574938","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-20T01:15:38-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"college":"sports/basketball/college"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Fordham's 3 women's basketball seniors excel in classroom","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/article_6681d5c6-ae6d-581f-b5b7-a14c90c85025.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/fordham-s-women-s-basketball-seniors-excel-in-classroom/article_6681d5c6-ae6d-581f-b5b7-a14c90c85025.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/It-s-not-that-rare-in-women-s-basketball-for-players-to-earn-enough-credits-to-graduate-before-their-senior-year-is-done/id-e764148c08d04871997a756a76ec5767","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By DOUG FEINBERG\nAP Basketball Writer","prologue":"NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 It's not that rare in women's basketball for players to earn enough credits to graduate before their senior year is done.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","sports","higher education","education","social affairs","women's basketball","basketball","women's sports","women's college basketball","college basketball","college sports"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"commentID":"6681d5c6-ae6d-581f-b5b7-a14c90c85025","body":"

NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 It's not that rare in women's basketball for players to earn enough credits to graduate before their senior year is done.

Not many of those athletes, however, decide to earn a master's degree in that fourth season, continuing their education.

Fordham seniors Danielle Burns, Hannah Missry and Danielle Padovano did just that, getting a master's in media management after the trio earned their undergraduate degrees in three years. That's making the most of their education as Fordham costs roughly $191,000 for a non-scholarship student over four years, with a master's degree starting at $50,000-plus.

\"We like being busy,\" Missry said. \"The last three years, we were always in classes, running back and forth, never having down time. We found time to work on our game. This year, it's been an easy year by far. It's been great and balancing what we can manage.\"

They were honored Sunday as Fordham played its final regular-season home game against Atlantic 10 leader Dayton and knocked off the Flyers 66-52. It's the team's first win over Dayton since the three were freshmen.

\"It's great, as you can imagine,\" Padovano said. \"It's come full circle, and that's pretty cool.\"

The Rams will be home next weekend to host the opening round of the conference tournament, which switched its format this year with the first round being played on campus sites.

Of the three, only Burns came to Fordham with the plan to graduate in three years. When Padovano was a sophomore, she figured out that she could also have enough credits to finish early. Burns, like her fellow classmates, had spent summers on campus to train and also take classes to lessen the academic load during the season.

\"We're really blessed at Fordham to do what we did in the amount of time we did,\" Burns said. \"Shows how hard we work every day on the court or in the classroom. I'm really fortunate to be with these two other great friends.\"

While having graduate students on teams isn't that unusual, they mostly are athletes who are using a fifth-year of eligibility after suffering some kind of injury during their playing careers.

To have three on the same team who just excelled academically off the court, that's exceptional.

\"You have some schools that have one or two high achievers, that to me is why this class is special,\" Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley said. \"Those that work hard in the classroom tend to give you everything on the court also.\"

___

Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

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NEW YORK (AP) \u2014 It wasn't a great week to be a ranked team.

Nearly half the teams in The Associated Press women's basketball poll lost, including four of the top 10 teams. Tulane also almost pulled off a monumental upset, but ended up falling just short against UConn, losing by three points Sunday.

While the Huskies held on to win their 101st consecutive game after beating No. 6 South Carolina for the milestone victory last Monday, Florida State, South Carolina, Texas and Washington all lost at least once. On the other end of the poll, Nos. 20-24 all lost.

Should make for an interesting new Top 25 poll this week.

Other things that happened this week:

STANDING ROOM ALONE: Both Michigan and Syracuse saw record crowds on Sunday. Unfortunately for them, neither team was able to come away with a win. The 20th-ranked Wolverines had a sellout crowd of 12,707 in an 86-68 loss to rival Michigan State. That was more than double the previous record of 5,991.

\"That was, other than when my teams played at Connecticut, the best atmosphere I have ever been a part of,\" Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. \"If I could just thank the Michigan fans and the crowd today, it was incredible. I am so glad that my seniors (Siera Thompson and Danielle Williams) got to experience that because of what they have meant to this program. I have to thank the Ann Arbor community and our University for their support today. I remember my first year when we had a huge crowd here, it was mostly green. Today, it was all maize and blue.\"

Like Michigan, Syracuse also had a record number of fans at their 85-80 loss to No. 7 Notre Dame. It was 5,000 more than the previous high.

\"It was a great crowd and a major moment for our program to have that kind of support,\" Orange coach Quentin Hillsman said. We played a great three quarters. We just have to do a better job of getting in front on that action, playing off the high post, and doing what we are supposed to do. But, it wasn't for a lack of effort.\"

MOVING ON UP: Washington guard Kelsey Plum moved into second place on the NCAA's career scoring list Sunday, passing Brittney Griner. Plum has 3,315 points and needs 78 points to tie Jackie Stiles for the top spot.

TUNING IN: UConn's milestone 100th straight win drew an 0.9 overnight rating \u2014 the highest-rated women's college basketball regular-season game since 2010. It also was the most watched men's or women's game on ESPN2 this season.

___

Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

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The routine is familiar. The president makes a few bad jokes. The championship-winning team presents the leader of the free world with a personalized jersey. Everyone smiles for the cameras.

Nothing political about that, right?

Not exactly.

In a divided nation, everything is political.

While presidents have been snubbed before, six players from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots took it to another level by preemptively turning down an expected invitation from President Trump.

Rest assured, they won't be the last to mix sports and politics.

\"The balance of power in professional sports now rests more with the performers than the owners,\" said Stephen Mosher, a professor of sports management and media at Ithaca College. \"Without a labor force, (Patriots owner) Robert Kraft has nothing but an empty stadium. He has to let his employees make these political statements if he wants to win. He has to. There's too many different political views held by players in the National Football League.

\"Actually,\" Mosher added, \"I think it's quite refreshing.\"

The Patriots were part of the political discourse even before they dramatically rallied from 25 points down to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the first Super Bowl to go to overtime.

Kraft is a friend of the 45th president, and quarterback Tom Brady drew plenty of scrutiny when one of Trump's \"Make America Great Again\" caps was spotted in his locker at the start of the contentious presidential campaign.

Then, with the Patriots still in the midst of their Super Bowl celebration, tight end Martellus Bennett made it clear he had no intention of visiting Trump's White House.

Five teammates \u2014 defensive back Devin McCourty, running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive end Chris Long, linebacker Dont'a Hightower and defensive tackle Alan Branch \u2014 quickly followed suit. Most pinned their decision on political differences with the Republican administration.

Significant, to be sure.

But nothing new.

SNUBBING THE WHITE HOUSE

Since the tradition of inviting sports champions to the nation's most famous home really began to take off under President Reagan, some two dozen athletes have turned down the opportunity.

That list includes Brady, who didn't attend a 2015 celebration because of what the quarterback insisted was a \"family commitment\" but others speculated was because of some unflattering comments a spokesman for President Obama made about the Deflategate scandal.

For some, a trip to the White House was no big deal.

Larry Bird shrugged off an invitation from Reagan after the Boston Celtics won an NBA title, crabbily explaining, \"If the president wants to see me, he knows where to find me.\" After winning one of his six championships, Michael Jordan said he preferred to spend time with his family rather than hang with President George H.W. Bush. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison turned down not one, but two chances to visit the White House, pointing out \u2014 quite correctly \u2014 that he wouldn't have gotten either of those invitations if his team had lost the Super Bowl.

Others cited political differences with those in power in declining.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas declined to join the 2011 Stanley Cup champions on their White House visit, writing on social media that the government \"has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.\"

Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk passed on a chance to meet with Obama because of the president's support of Planned Parenthood. Golfer Tom Lehman was even more outspoken when rebuffing a president, calling Bill Clinton \"a draft-dodging baby killer.\"

HOW IT ALL STARTED

In 1865, not long after the end of the Civil War and before professional baseball was even a thing, President Andrew Johnson met with a pair of amateur teams, the Washington Nationals and Brooklyn Atlantics, according to the White House Historical Association. Given the tumultuous term he would serve after inheriting the office from Abraham Lincoln, Johnson probably figured he could use all the positive publicity he could get.

President Calvin Coolidge invited the hometown Senators for a visit after their dramatic seven-game victory in the 1924 World Series, which proved to be a prudent move. Washington may be first in war and first in peace, but it's still stuck on that one Series title.

More teams would visit the White House in the years to come, but Mosher points to Richard Nixon as the first president who really pushed for a connection to athletes of all stripes, with some speculating that it was a way to make up for his failed football dreams. Most notably, he began the practice of placing congratulatory phone calls right to the locker room while teams were right in the midst of their championship celebrations.

Reagan, who knew how to work the camera far better than Nixon, stepped up the game by using the White House as a backdrop for well-choreographed photo ops with champions from a wide range of sports. While these appearances were passed off as nothing more than a chance to dole out some well-deserved kudos while escaping the divisive issues of the day, the Gipper surely knew they had everything to do with politics.

\"Basking in the reflective glory\" of a championship team, as Mosher puts it, never hurts when election time rolls around. \"They keep telling us over and over again that sports and politics don't mix,\" he said. \"But that's simply not the case.\"

WHAT'S NEXT

Colin Kaepernick's season-long protest against police brutality and abuses in the justice system seems to have sparked a new activism among professional athletes.

The quarterback's simple act of kneeling during the national anthem \"is very different than what I've studied in the past,\" Mosher said. \"He did it so politely, with so much respect. He wasn't calling attention to himself. The story only became a story when people noticed it. That stood in stark contrast to the ranting and raving that the political campaign was putting in front of the American public.\"

In Week 1 of the NFL season, Bennett raised his fist in a show of support.

Now that the season is over, he's plunging into another fiery issue.

Given the divided state of the nation, more athletes are sure to follow.

No matter who's in the White House.

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .

___

For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) \u2014 Move over, Wilt. After 55 years, one of your records is no more.

Anthony Davis took care of that.

At the defense-free dunkfest that now serves as the NBA's All-Star Game, Davis scored a record 52 points and led the Western Conference past the Eastern Conference, 192-182 on Sunday night. He made 26 of 39 shots, scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and became the first player since Kobe Bryant in 2011 to win MVP honors on his home floor.

\"It was amazing,\" Davis said. \"That's what I wanted to do ... get the MVP for this crowd, for this city. This one definitely means a lot to me.\"

Davis was the star of stars in a game where the teams combined for more points than in any other All-Star contest. It came on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo had more dunks \u2014 12 \u2014 than his name has consonants and LeBron James became the first player to eclipse 300 points in an All-Star career.

Being linked to Wilt Chamberlain, who had 42 points in the 1962 game, only made it more special, Davis said.

\"The next one I'm going to try to do is 100 points,\" Davis said.

He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes \u2014 which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, thanks to his West teammates deferring to their host time and again.

\"It shows our guys recognize what the weekend is about,\" West coach Steve Kerr said

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West. And after the game, word came that Sacramento is trading All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans as part of a deal that will involve five players and two draft picks.

Cousins played only two minutes. The New Orleans fans will see much more of him soon enough.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East. James scored 23 \u2014 including a 3-pointer from the midcourt logo \u2014 while Cleveland teammate Kyrie Irving added 22 points and 14 assists.

\"There were a few too many transition baskets allowed,\" East coach Brad Stevens deadpanned. \"But I think that was strictly coaching.\"

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

If any animus remains between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights \u2014 a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

\"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?\" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of ice water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

\"It was a nice give-and-go, man,\" Westbrook said.

Added Durant: \"It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play.\"

Kerr said that set the West up for the rest of the night.

\"I guess that's kind of the beauty of the game,\" Kerr said. \"You just let the game break the ice, and that play, I thought, broke the ice.\"

Westbrook scored 12 points \u2014 all on 3s \u2014 in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

\"He did a good job,\" Westbrook said, \"and got it done.\"

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East. Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam \u2014 one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed \"The Star-Spangled Banner\" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend \u2014 the halftime performer \u2014 and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) \u2014 AP Source: Sacramento Kings have agreed to trade DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.

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