United States player Zach LaVine holds the MVP trophy after the NBA Rising Stars Challenge basketball game in Toronto, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Minnesota forward Zach LaVine scored 30 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the United States to a 157-154 victory over the world team Friday in the NBA's Rising Stars Challenge in Toronto.LaVine was named Most Valuable Player of the contest featuring many of the NBA's top rookies and second-year players, which launched the festivities of All-Star weekend.Sunday's All-Star Game will cap the action at Air Canada Centre, but before then LaVine will defend the title he won last year in Saturday's Slam Dunk contest.He limbered up for that event -- in which he'll hope to join Michael Jordan (1987-88), Jason Richardson (2002-03) and Nate Robinson (2009-10) as the only back-to-back winners -- by leading the squad of U.S.-born rising stars against a World team featuring his Timberwolves teammate Andrew Wiggins of Canada, the Knicks' Latvian rookie Kristaps Porzingis, and the Denver Nuggets' Congolese guard Emmanuel Mudiay.Wiggins, who was named MVP after leading the World to the Rising Stars win in New York last year, said he didn't mind that LaVine earned MVP honors this time around.
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