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2011 NBA All-Star Game: Kobe Bryant Makes Case For MVP, West Leads 117-100 Through Three, Dwyane Wade Hurt

Kobe just keeps on scoring.

Kobe Bryant is making a bid to nab his fourth All-Star Game MVP by posting 34 points and Kevin Durant added 20 to lead the West to a 117-100 lead over the East through three quarters at the Staples Center.

Joe Johnson has nine points and Al Horford two as the pair of Atlanta Hawks continue to get short-shifted by Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

LeBron James has 15 points and Dwyane Wade and Amare Stoudemire have 14 points each for the Eastern Conference, which has committed 18 turnovers through the first 36 minutes of action.

Wade limped off the court with 5:02 remaining, walking gingerly off the court after landing on the foot of Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams. Wade, who sprained the ankle last week, is out for the rest of the game. Wade's misfortune was Johnson's game. Rivers finally put the Atlanta SG back in the game after the Miami Heat superstar went to the bench with the injury.

Of course, Johnson was in the game with Chris Bosh and three of Boston's Fab Four, who just stood around the bucket as the West had about three chances to put a field goal home.

Horford is the only non-minus player on the Eastern Conference team a flat zero in just 7:30 on the court. Only Kevin Garnett has seen less time on the court for the East at 5:37.

The funniest part of the action came off of the court in the third quarter. As TNT's Craig Sager went in for the kill question with Carmelo Anthony and started asking about his alleged trade to the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks, Bryant chimed in and "forbade" his "little brother Anthony" from answering the question.

Anthony for his part did say that he'd "be in a Denver uniform" when the team returns to play the Memphis Grizzlies after the All-Star Break.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.