NBA All-Star Game Highlights: Steph Curry to Giannis, LeBron James Dunks

Photo credit USA Today Sports

Team LeBron rallied from a 20-point second-half deficit to defeat Team Giannis 178-164 in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night in Charlotte. Kevin Durant captured MVP honors by scoring 31 points for Team LeBron.

But those were footnotes.

All basketball fans will remember from the defense-optional exhibition is the highlights: jaw-dropping dunks, poetry-inspiring passes and sentimental sendoffs.

Here are the five signature All-Star moments: 

Stephen Curry's ridiculous bounce-pass alley-oop to Giannis Antetokounmpo

Such is Curry's flair for indelible moments, he didn't even need to fling in one of his trademark 3-pointers to provide the uber-highlight of the night. There are a handful of Earthlings who could reach this pass, and Giannis is one of them. The Greek Freak had a game-high 38 points.

Dwyane Wade's backboard alley-oop to LeBron James

For old times' sake. The best friends and former teammates -- shades of their Miami Heat days on this one -- made sure to connect in Wade's valedictory final All-Star appearance.

Kyrie Irving's alley-oop to LeBron James

A relatively routine dunk by All-Star standards that was rich in subtext. The two former superstar teammates, who had been at odds following Irving's abrupt exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers, appear to be reconciling -- just in time for Irving's free agency this summer.

Dirk Nowitzki's vintage rainbow 3s 

Nowitzki, a special addition to the roster in his likely final NBA season, entered the game late in the first quarter and buried three consecutive 3-pointers. Nowitzki joked as he came out of the game: "That's what I do, baby!" 

Curry's reverse dunk at the buzzer

Curry, who grew up in Charlotte and served as the unofficial host of All-Star weekend, closed the game with a surprising reverse dunk (did we know he could get up like that?) off a bounce pass to himself.  

With AP