Sunday, February 20, 2011

John Wall Sets Rookie Challenge Record With 22 Assists, Wins Game MVP

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John WallLOS ANGELES -- The 2011 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge started off slowly, with neither team displaying much energy and not too many thrills to be had early. But by the time it was over, Blake Griffin had some thunderous dunks and John Wall handed out a game-record 22 assists in leading the Rookies to a 148-140 win over the Sophomores.

"I was keeping count through the whole game," Wall said of his assists. "I asked before the game what the assist record was and throughout the game my teammates were telling me, 'it's four away' or 'it's five away'. After I got it, we were just trying to get the win."

The MVP wasn't Wall's going away, however, as both DeJuan Blair and DeMarcus Cousins seemed to be after the prize, especially late in the second half when they seemed to be dueling directly against one another.

Blair was aggressive from the very start, seemingly thrilled to be free of the disciplined and restrictive San Antonio system, and shooting almost every time he touched the ball. Cousins, meanwhile, was on the receiving end of more than one spectacular pass from Wall, his former college teammate at the University of Kentucky.

Blair finished the night with 28 points on 14-of-21 shooting, to go along with 15 rebounds. Cousins finished 33 and 14. But the game's signature highlight belonged to neither of them.

 

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