Faried take MVP in Rising Stars game

Faried take MVP in Rising Stars game
February 15, 2013, 11:30 pm
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It wasn’t exactly what Dr. James Naismith drew up, but what the heck, it was exciting.

Kenneth Faried scored 40 points and won the MVP in the Rising Stars Challenge in Team Chuck’s 163-135 win on Friday night at the Toyota Center.

Faried’s 40 points are the most he’s had since … well … ever. He never had 40 points in a game, any game, until Friday night.

“It feels wonderful,” Faried said. “It’s a great feeling to know all those elite guys out there. And to rise above them, not in a demeaning way, but in a respectful way of the game and win the MVP is an honor.”

At 6-foot-8 and as a monster forward, the Rising Stars game isn’t exactly tailored to Faried, but he still shined. He came out strong, scoring 19 points on 11 shots in the first half and kept it going in the second.

“I came out with the intent to put on a performance but I wasn’t thinking about an MVP performance,” Faried said.

And aside from scoring 40 points, he also did something else he’s never done before. He made a three. Heck, he shot a three. In his second season in the league, Faried has never attempted a three-pointer in a regulation game.

Faried joked that it’s always in his repertoire but his coach never lets him shoot it.

Kyrie Irving, who was the game’s MVP as a rookie last season, scored 32 points to lead Team Shaq but it was his 1-on-1 battle with Brandon Knight that might have been the highlight of the night.

Irving broke Knight’s ankles on a crossover in the second half and shot a big jumper that swooshed in as Knight hit the floor. On the next possession, the entire floor cleared out to let the two go to work. Irving beat him again.

“It just happened,” Irving said. “A couple plays going down the court with him. It’s a rivalry since high school. He’s a good friend of mine. It’s great competition.”

Chandler Parsons, the local horse in the race, scored 13 points, including the first two on a dunk, for Team Shaq in a losing effort.

At halftime, Team Chuck led Team Shaq 90-66, led by 19 points from Faried. Team Shaq was led by 14 points from Irving.

Parsons got the scoring going for Team Shaq with a two-handed slam early in the first half. He scored six points in the first, all on dunks. His last of the half was a reverse slam after getting a pass along the baseline.

The other big highlight for Team Shaq in the first half was Dion Waiters slamming home an alley-oop pass from Kemba Walker off the backboard.

Team Chuck stole the show in the first half though. Ricky Rubio was made for an exhibition like that.

The best play in the first half came from Rubio, when he was facing outward from the baseline and threw in through his legs to a streaking Bradley Beal in the lane for the slam. Rubio also went between his legs early for a layup drive.