Team World trounced Team USA 150-141 on Friday night and Denver Nuggets rookie Jamal Murray took home the Rising Stars Challenge’s MVP award. 

The international team just looked better than the domestic, but the United States was just one explosive night away from taking home the dub. Unfortunately, outside of Frank Kaminsky, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jonathan Simmons, the U.S. struggled to find guys to contribute, while the World team was getting almost everyone involved.

Kristaps Porzingis

Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; U.S. Team center Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers (33) and World Team forward Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks (6) go for a loose ball during the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; U.S. Team center Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers (33) and World Team forward Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks (6) go for a loose ball during the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Zinger finished with 24 points and 10 boards once the evening concluded, and he was 11-of-16 from the field overall. He was the beneficiary of crisp passing and went 10-of-11 on shots inside the three-point arc.

I’m sure Knicks fans are hoping this can jump start Porzingis, who entered the All-Star break underperforming just a tad.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; U.S. Team center Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers (33) and World Team forward Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks (6) go for a loose ball during the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; U.S. Team center Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves (32) warms up before the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

KAT had the best all-around night for Team USA, but his team wasn’t exactly dominant with him on the floor. He totaled 24 points, 11 rebounds and two steals but his plus/minus was abysmal minus-18. However, from an efficiency standpoint, Towns was nearly perfect.

Just three missed shots blemished Towns’ stat sheet after the game and two of them came from long distance.

Buddy Hield

Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; World Team guard Buddy Hield of the New Orleans Pelicans (25) throws mini basketballs into the crowd after the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; World Team guard Buddy Hield of the New Orleans Pelicans (25) throws mini basketballs into the crowd after the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Freeport, Bahamas native has had a lackluster year, and his shot hasn’t yet made the leap to the NBA. With a 39.2 percent clip overall, including 36.9 percent from three, Hield’s uncharacteristically inaccurate. Lucky enough for him, that same guy exploded for 28 points in the Rising Stars Game

He was still off from three, 3-of-12, but he was getting to the basket and converting on almost everything that came inside.

Frank Kaminsky

Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; U.S. Team center Frank Kaminsky of the Charlotte Hornets (44) reacts during the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; U.S. Team center Frank Kaminsky of the Charlotte Hornets (44) reacts during the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, Frank Kaminsky was his team’s leading scorer with 33 points. Going 9-of-13 from long range definitely helped, but he still has to convert on the looks even if they’re open.

Frank the Tank has improved since his rookie year, but such a dazzling shooting performance is bizarre given his 30.8 percent mark from downtown this season.

Jamal Murray

Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; World Team guard Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets (27) celebrates winning the MVP during the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; World Team guard Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets (27) celebrates winning the MVP during the Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Your MVP was sensational on Friday — even by exhibition game standards. With his 36 points (on nine made threes) Murray dished out 11 assists and only committed three turnovers, a relatively low number with how careless the game can get.

Murray became the sixth player to drop at least 36 in the game and the first since Tim Hardaway Jr. did it back in 2014. He’s also just the third international player to bring home MVP honors, joining fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins (2015) and Lithuanian Zydrunas Ilgauskas (1998).

Honorable Mentions: Nikola Jokic – 12 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists; Dario Saric – 17 points, five rebounds, four assists

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