Photo: Football24 News English
Photo: Football24 News English

Not even a pandemic can keep the NBA All-Star Game from a rebound.

The 70th annual NBA All-Star Game will air Sunday on TNT and ESPN Radio, live from State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

And for the first time, the NBA is packing all the events into just one night, with on-court contests beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET and the game itself at 8 p.m. ET, CNN cites.

Though typical All-Star programming will run a bit differently this year, there won't be any shortage of on-court star power. Here's what to expect when players take the court this weekend.

The schedule is a little … different

It used to be that Saturday evening was time for the All-Star hors d’oeuvres. You’d have the Skills Competition, the 3-Point Contest, the Slam Dunk Contest. Maybe even a celebrity game. (Who wouldn't want to watch an old Scottie Pippen stuff, Justin Bieber?)

All of that would be a fun warm-up for the main course on Sunday, according to Fox News.

Now, though, in the interest of safety, the league has compressed everything into one neat Sunday package.

TNT will start the action with a pregame show at 5 p.m. ET. That will be followed by the Skills Competition and 3-Point Contest back-to-back beginning at 6:30 p.m. The game itself begins at 8 p.m., and the Slam Dunk Contest will be held at halftime ­– strange but true!

NBA All-Star Game format explained

Team LeBron and Team Durant will compete to win each of the first three-quarters of the game. Those quarters will be the standard 12 minutes but start with a 0-0 score. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a final target score will be set based on the leading team's cumulative score through the first three quarters. That target score will be the leading team's total score plus 24 points, said Sporting News.

Photo: CNN
Photo: CNN

The NBA decided to incorporate 24 points into the target score to honor Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. The 18-time All-Star wore the No. 24 from the 2006-07 season through 2015-16.

Once the target score is finalized, Team LeBron and Team Durant will play the untimed fourth quarter, and the first team to reach the target score will win the game.

An example: If the cumulative score through three quarters is 100-95 in favor of Team LeBron, the target score would be 124. Team LeBron would only need to score 24 points in order to win, while Team Durant would need to score 29 points. The results of the previous three quarters are simply based on the individual scores of those quarters.

The winner of each of the first three quarters will receive $150,000 (a total of $450,000) for an organization that provides scholarship funding for students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The overall winning team will earn $300,000.

Team LeBron will play for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Team Durant will play for the United Negro College Fund. Each organization will receive an initial contribution of $500,000, and a total of $1.75 million will be spread between the two.

Lineups for Slam Dunk Contest

Team LeBron

Pick Player Team
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo* Bucks
2. Stephen Curry* Warriors
3. Luka Doncic* Mavericks
4. Nikola Jokic* Nuggets
5. Damian Lillard Trail Blazers
6. Ben Simmons 76ers
7. Chris Paul Suns
8. Jaylen Brown Celtics
9. Paul George Clippers
10. Domantas Sabonis Pacers
11. Rudy Gobert Jazz

*All-Star starters

Photo: TechRadar
Photo: TechRadar

Team Durant

Pick Player Team
1. Kyrie Irving* Nets
2. Joel Embiid* 76ers
3. Kawhi Leonard* Clippers
4. Bradley Beal* Wizards
5. Jayson Tatum** Celtics
6. James Harden Nets
7. Devin Booker*** Suns
8. Zion Williamson Pelicans
9. Zach LaVine Bulls
10. Julius Randle Knicks
11. Nikola Vucevic Magic
12. Donovan Mitchell Jazz
Mike Conley*** Jazz

*All-Star starters

**Tatum elevated to starter with Durant out (hamstring injury)

***Conley named replacement with Booker out (knee injury)

Just after 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, the NBA announced Simmons and Embiid were ruled out of the All-Star Game due to contact tracing for COVID-19 after coming in contact with an individual who tested positive for coronavirus.

What TV channels NBA All-Star Game is in?

Sling TV Orange

Carries TNT

For other NBA games it also carries ESPN, but not ABC. NBA TV is available for an extra $15 per month as part of Sling's Sports Extra package, Cnet cites.

Sling's other package Blue also carries TNT, but only Orange has ESPN, which makes it the better option for basketball fans.

YouTube TV

Carries TNT

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes TNT for the All-Star Game, as well as all the other major NBA channels (ABC, ESPN, and NBA TV). Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

Hulu Plus Live TV

Carries TNT

Hulu Plus Live TV costs $65 a month and includes TNT for the All-Star Game, as well as two other major NBA channels (ABC and ESPN), but Hulu lacks NBA TV. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live.

AT&T TV

Carries TNT

AT&T TV's basic Entertainment package costs $70 and carries TNT for the All-Star Game, as well two other major NBA channels (ABC and ESPN), but it lacks NBA TV.

AT&T TV's $85-a-month Choice package has all the major national channels, including NBA TV, as well as many of the regional sports networks that carry your team's local games. That makes it our top choice for NBA streaming. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels, including RSNs, are available where you live.

How to watch the 2021 All-Star events

Date: Sunday, March 7th

Time: Pregame coverage, events at 5:00 p.m. ET and tip-off at 8:00 p.m.

Channel: TNT

Livestream: Watch TNT

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