The coaches for the All-Star Game were the head coaches who coached the teams with the best winning percentage in their division through February 18, the Sunday two weeks before the All-Star game. The coach for the Western team was Minneapolis Lakers head coach John Kundla. As of February 18, the Lakers had 36–18 record, the best winning percentage in the Western Division and in the league. The coach for the Eastern team was New York Knickerbockers head coach Joe Lapchick. As of February 18, the Knickerbockers had 31–21 record, the best winning percentage in the Eastern Division and the second-best winning percentage in the league.
The East defeated the West by 17 points. The West trailed by the end of the first quarter, where they were outscored by 9 points. The East's lead increased to 11 points at halftime and again to 19 points at the end of the third quarter. Boston Celtics' Ed Macauley scored a game-high 20 points and successfully defended Minneapolis Lakers star George Mikan, limiting him to only 4 field goals and 12 points. Alex Groza of the Indianapolis Olympians scored a team-high 17 points for the West. Syracuse Nationals' Dolph Schayes scored 15 points and also recorded a game-high 14 rebounds for the East while reserve Dick McGuire added a game-high 10 assists. Two other players from the East, Joe Fulks and reserve Paul Arizin, scored at least 19 and 15 points respectively as their team had 46.2 field goal percentage. On the other hand, the West only managed to made 32.7 percent of its shots. Macauley was named as the first All-Star Game Most Valuable Player. However, he was honored two years later during the 1953 All-Star Game, when the league decided to designate an MVP for each year's game.