CHICAGO — Miles Bridges got the All-Star weekend off to a high-flying start.

So did Zion Williamson — even when his dunk attempts didn’t go in.

Bridges scored 20 points and took MVP honors, Eric Paschall added 23 more, and the U.S. beat the World 151-131 in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.

The Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton had 21 points, Hawks All-Star Trae Young added 18 and Chicago product Kendrick Nunn of the Heat chipped in with 16. Williamson scored 14 and had the baskets inside the United Center shaking whether he made or missed.

RJ Barrett of the Knicks led the World with 27 points, and the Wizards’ Brandon Clarke scored 22.

The annual showcase of the top rookies and second-year players helped tip off the first All-Star Weekend in the Windy City since 1988, when Michael Jordan dazzled the home crowd at the old Chicago Stadium. Back then, “His Airness” edged Dominique Wilkins in a slam dunk contest that arguably remains the standard and scored 40 points to lead the East over the West in the game.

As for Friday’s game, there were plenty of flashy dunks and not much in the way of defense.

Dallas All-Star Luka Doncic drew a big roar from the crowd when he banked a 3 from halfcourt just before the halftime buzzer to send the World to the locker room with an 81-71 lead. Charlotte’s Bridges had the fans cheering late in the third quarter when he flipped the ball off the glass and jammed it during the quarter when the U.S. took control.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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