HOUSTON — Kenneth Faried was a Manimal among boys in the Rising Stars Challenge.
Faried had 40 points and 10 rebounds and entertained the crowd at the end with a series of dunks, leading Team Chuck to a 163-135 victory over Team Shaq on Friday night.
Nicknamed "Manimal" for his physical style of play, Faried made 18 of 22 shots and was selected the game's most valuable player. He'll also compete tonight in the dunk contest at All-Star Weekend.
For the second straight year, the rosters of both teams were a mix of rookie and second-year players and former stars Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley served as opposing general managers.
Sacramento point guard Isaiah Thomas had 18 points and 10 assists for Barkley's team. Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving, last year's MVP, scored 32 points and rookie Dion Waiters, Irving's Cavs' teammate, added 23 for Shaq's team.
The last few minutes of the meaningless game devolved into a spontaneous dunk contest, with players taking turns showing off their acrobatic moves while the others stood and watched. Faried drew the biggest cheers with four thunderous slams.
The average score of the game over the past five seasons was 138-131, and New Orleans rookie Anthony Davis set the tone with an alley-oop pass to San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard for a dunk 20 seconds into the game.
Barkley's team finished virtually all of their first-half possessions with uncontested 3-pointers or dunks and led 90-66 at halftime.
Team Chuck went 12 for 18 from 3-point range in the first half and Thomas hit his first four tries. Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson was the only player on Barkley's team who didn't hit a 3 in the half, but he made up for it with four dunks.