Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas (PHOTO: US PRESSWIRE)
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Kings Isaiah Thomas put up impressive numbers at the Rising Stars game in Houston, scoring 18 points and 10 assists for Team Chuck Friday night.
Denver Nuggets second-year forward Kenneth Faried totaled 40 points and 10 rebounds to lead Team Chuck to a 163-135 blowout victory over Team Shaq at the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.
Faried made 18-of-22 attempts from the field, including a pair of uncontested windmill slam dunks in the final minute to collect MVP honors and kick off the NBA's All-Star weekend festivities on Friday at the Toyota Center.
With the exception of Ricky Rubio, who had his flashy passing abilities on display in registering 10 assists, every player scored in double-figures for the winning team, put together by Charles Barkley.
Tristan Thompson and Kawhi Leonard each scored 20 and Isaiah Thomas contributed 18 points with 10 assists for the victors, who made 17 3-pointers collectively and never trailed in the contest.
For the second consecutive year, the group selected by Shaquille O'Neal wasn't nearly good enough despite grabbing the MVP of last year's event, Kyrie Irving, who tallied 32 points and will participate in his first All-Star game on Sunday.
After a first-half posterization of Team Shaq's group, Barkley's squad held a commanding 90-66 lead they would not relenquish. Faried had 19 points through the initial 20 minutes, with his last bucket coming on a ferocious two-handed reverse slam.
The closest Shaq's group came was at 109-92, but Barkley's squad eventually built their edge up to as many as 33 points before the final buzzer.
Irving scored 18 of his points in the second half, with his highlight score coming as a result of an ankle breaking crossover of Brandon Knight late in the contest.
Cavs rookie Dion Waiters followed Irving with 23 points on 11-of-12 shooting and Damian Lillard posted 18 points in the defeat.
Comedian Kevin Hart took home MVP honors for the second consecutive year in the Celebrity All-Star game. He finished with five points, three rebounds and one assist as the celebrities from the West handled their counterparts from the East with a 58-38 victory at the Sprint Arena.
The Sports Network