NEW ORLEANS -- On track to possibly be in the conversation for MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge, Bradley Beal had 13 points in the first half of Friday's game with Team Hill. Like most of the other players on the floor, including for Team Webber, he had to take a step back and let teammate Dion Waiters and Tim Hardaway go at it.
Waiters (Cavaliers) and Hardaway (Knicks) exploded for 49 combined points in the second half as Team Hill won 142-136 at Smoothie King Center to kick off All-Star Weekend festivities that will culminate with Sunday's main event featuring Beal's backcourt partner with the Wizards, John Wall.
Beal finished with 21 points in 28 minutes.
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"I knew that somebody was going to go at Tim. We knew Tim from the get-go that he was going to go hard today," Beal said. "It ended up being him and Dion. It was a great show. Great battle."
Waiters and Hardaway, both reserves, entered at 13:15 of the second half and went at it. Hardaway scored 16 of 18 points during one stretch, including four three-pointers. Waiters responded with 15 consecutive points. When it was done, Hardaway led all scorers with 36 points in 24 minutes and Waiters had a team-high 31 in 22 minutes.
"He kept saying the whole time, 'This is what I'm made for. This is my game,'" Beal said of Waiters. "He showed he loves to win."
Andre Drummond, however, won the MVP with 30 points and a record 25 rebounds. Beal, however, smiled and took at dig at the Pistons' big man.
"He was aggressive," Beal said of his Team Hill teammate. "He shoved me out of the way for a few rebounds. That's just the type player he is. He plays hard. He was kind of padding his stats, missing shots, getting his own rebounds but he's still a great player."