There were 321 points scored in the Chris Paul CP3 All Star Pick Up Game Saturday night at the Gaines Center at Winston-Salem State University.
If it matters in a game in which a player bounced a ball off the gym wall and grabbed the rebound on the fly for a monster dunk, the final score was 175-146, with Paul's home team taking the win.
All the big names who had been in New York on Friday meeting with NBA owners in lockout negotiations showed up Saturday night in Winston-Salem, including LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.
Local product Josh Howard was in the house, as were John Wall, J.R. Smith, Stephen Curry, Damien James, Rudy Gay, Kyrie Irving, Mario Chalmers, Tristian Thompson, Josh Selby and Jason Sloan.
Jason Sloan is an up-and-coming star, an 8-year-old Winston-Salem third-grader.
"Best time of my life," Jason said, as he came down the bleachers holding the hand of his adult cousin Brittany Sloan after the game.
"Because I got to see my favorite players," he said.
Paul said the game not only was a good way for players to get out and play during the NBA lockout but also a way to inspire children.
"This is how we got to the NBA, our friends, playing ball with them," he said. "…We were these kids who are sitting in the crowd watching the game."
It looked for a while like the game might not tip off. The Gaines Center seats about 3,200 people and there were still about 300 people outside who were trying to get into the packed building 20 minutes past the planned tipoff time.
"We got a lot of people trying to get in, and we will not start until we get everybody in that has paid," said announcer B-Daht of 102JAMZ. "…We need everybody to scoot over, scoot over."
People scooted and got really close, and the game tipped off 40 minutes late.
Paul played his college basketball at Wake Forest University, but his parents attended Winston-Salem State and he wanted a small venue that would give more of a pickup game feel, Bill Hayes, WSSU's athletic director, said last month when the game was announced.
"I'm just happy to be home," Paul said Saturday evening before the game. "At this time every year, I'd already be in training camp. It's kind of a gift and a curse."
Both sides in the lockout want to get the deal done and the situation has been very emotional, Paul said.
"At the end of the day, we want to play the game," he said.
The game they played Saturday night was served up with lots of jam. James had two big dunks late in the first half, hanging on the rim each time so that the goal stand swayed like it might topple. It didn't.
At halftime, Paul and his parents presented a check for $25,000 to WSSU Athletics. Other money raised went to Paul's foundation.
The score was already 87-78 by halftime, with Paul's home team out front.
Players — who wanted to have fun and keep fit without getting hurt or hurting anyone else — played defense like the player with the ball had poison ivy and they didn't want to get near him.
It was John Wall of the Washington Wizards who bounced the ball off the gym wall, caught it and soared for a dunk, drawing deafening cheers.
Davidson College product Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors bounced a ball off the floor for the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, who picked it out of the air and slammed it through.
Curry went 0-3 on a single leap for a dunk. He missed his dunk but grabbed the rim, caught the ball with his right hand, missed, switched hands and grabbed the ball with his left and again bounced it off the rim.
LeBron James dunked with such force he restarted the malfunctioning 24-second clock behind the basket.
The crowd cheered for both teams loud and long, with people shouting and screaming after each dunk.
Paul had dunked under his own power during the game, but as the clock ticked down, he went in for a dunk and opposing players Wade and James lifted him up, one on each side.
"I want to say a special thanks to my parents, my family, my brother (C.J.)," Paul said after the game. "I thank them. I'm truly blessed. It's not me, it's my family."
Players removed their jerseys and shoes and threw them into the stands.
Wade, who on Friday had been involved in a tense moment in the lockout negotiations, wore a big smile Saturday as he pulled off his shirt and threw it into the crowd.
There was a happy family atmosphere at the game and a sense of school pride for homecoming.
The crowd gave a standing ovation to the introduction of Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, perhaps the most famous of legendary coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines' basketball players at WSSU.
After the game, Josh Howard, who played basketball at Glenn High School and Wake Forest University, said it was good to be home.
"Everybody had a good time and the fans had a good time, so I'm happy," Howard said. "To be able to come back to my hometown and play in something like this was fantastic. It was nice to get on the court again and play."
Jason Sloan, the 8-year-old, walked out of the Gaines Center holding a rolled-up T-shirt that a cheerleader had thrown into the crowd. Another fan had caught it and handed it to the boy.
For all the talk of LeBron haters across the country, it was a lovefest for LeBron in Winston-Salem.
He got the biggest cheers of the night. He took off his sweatband and placed it on a little boy's head after the game. People clamored for his shoes.
Asked to name his favorite player, Jason said, "LeBron."