It was the highest ever scoring NBA All-Star game, a 163-155 dunk-a-thon in New Orleans Sunday won by the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving was named MVP with 31 points and 14 assists while Carmelo Anthony made a record eight three pointers and scored 30 points as the East rallied from an 18-point third quarter deficit. Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin for the losers each had 38 points, just four fewer than Wilt Chamberlain’s single game All-Star scoring record.

But in the end it became Joakim Noah’s game, the Bulls center coming off the bench for eight points, five rebounds and five assists in 20:46 and playing the entire fourth quarter in a defensive lineup when the East scored the last 10 points to pull away in a contested fourth quarter with seven lead changes and two ties.

“The game’s got to be defensive if you what to win,” said Noah. “In the beginning I was, ‘Oh nobody really cares.’ Toward the end it got competitive. The game changed. Overall we wanted to win. To be able to get that win; it’s cool

“I’m really happy we got the win,” added Noah. “I had a great time. I’m a little tired, but there’s time to rest. The court is always the best part. It always feels good to win no matter what situation. I like competing. It was fun. Overall, it was just an unbelievable honor. Especially to play down the stretch. I like that stuff. I want to be out there on the court.”

It was somewhat of a surprise, especially with Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel sitting his center, Roy Hibbert, in the fourth quarter as only Noah and Irving played all 12 minutes among the East players who were talking about needing to win after three straight All-Star game losses. And, no, Vogel wasn’t trying to use up the Bulls center to rest his. Vogel played his guy, Paul George, about nine fourth quarter minutes and second most overall to Irving, who shot 14 of 17. This one was about stopping the streak, however unimportant in the big picture it might be.

“I had a plan to get (Noah) about seven or eight minutes in the fourth quarter and, if it was close, finish with my guy, Roy Hibbert,” said Vogel. “The way that group was going, they made a little bit of a run. So a certain unit is making a run, you want to ride them out a little bit. Joakim played some great minutes there in the (fourth) quarter. I could have come back with Roy. Roy would have been a little bit stiff, would have taken him a few minutes. And that group was rolling. So a lot of times you just stay with the group that’s going.”