As the final buzzer rang, all eyes were on Kobe Bryant as the Lakers veteran embraced his teammates and received a standing ovation from all around.
And so, the NBA legend had played his last All-Stars game, helping the Western Conference win by 196 to 73 and finishing with 10 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
Held in Toronto, it was the first NBA game outside of the U.S., and also is one of the highest scoring ones.
Otherwise, it was business as usual in the All-stars match, with tonnes of slam dunks and mesmerizing downtown nets.
“It was fun.” Bryant said.
“I had a blast playing with those guys, laughing and joking with them on the bench.”
West coach Gregg Popovich likens Bryant’s departure as “passing the torch” to the younger generation of NBA players.
Meanwhile, Thunders’ Russell Westbrook took the honour of MVP, for the second time, winning a six of possible 12 votes.
The point guard poured in a team-high of 31 points, as well as taking eight rebounds, five assists and steals in just 22 minutes. Still, it was a slight decrease from his 41 points last year as a reserve.
“I was honestly surprised I won it again,” Westbrook said. “I was very surprised to have my name called.”
“I’m happy and blessed to be in the game again and for the opportunity.”