Last night was All Star Saturday Night in the NBA, which means that if you were out you missed the Skills Challenge, the Three Point Contest, and the Dunk Contest. Who ran the fastest, shot the best, and the dunked the hardest, you ask?
Let’s find out.
Damian Lillard wins Skills Challenge with two sub-30 second scores
The Skills Challenge is all about playing under control and playing quickly. Funnily enough, it was rookie Damian Lillard who did so, taking home the Skills Challenge trophy after clocking in at 28.8 seconds in Round 1 and 29.8 seconds in the championship round to beat out Jrue Holiday. Last year’s champ, Tony Parker, struggled with a time of 48.7 seconds and was never even close to contention. Take a look at Lillard’s road to victory via the NBA:
Kyrie Irving out-duels three point specialists en route to Three Point Contest victory
Entering the Three Point Contest, you would have thought Human Catapults like Ryan Anderson, Matt Bonner, or Steve Novak would have taken home the win, but no, it was Kyrie Irving that outdid them all and further added to his reputation as one of the brightest young stars here at All Star Weekend. After his 32-point performance in the Rising Stars Challenge Friday night, Irving snuck into the Three Point Contest finals with a pedestrian score of 18 in the first round only to explode for 23 in the championship to knock off Matt Bonner, who had 19 in round 1 and 20 in round 2. Watch the full highlights of the event via the NBA again:
Terrence Ross edges out Jeremy Evans to win lackluster Slam Dunk Contest
Don’t get me wrong; the dunks that actually were completed were pretty good. The problem with the dunk contest this year was that none of the participants could consistently make their dunks on the first try. A lot of them needed five, six, seven tries to make it. Really sucked the energy out of the room. Imagine if the Three Point Contest had all these delays because guys kept knocking over the rack so they had to pause the time to set them back up. Total buzzkill, no?
Be that as it may, there were a few nice dunks between all of the participants (minus a hugely disappointing performance from James White), especially as Jeremy Evans and Terrence Ross faced off in the final round. Ultimately, Ross was the winner with a Vince Carter tribute dunk to kick off the final round and a dunk over a little kid to finish it. I personally thought Evans should have won, though. Evans’ first dunk of the final round was over a painting of himself dunking in what can only be called an Escher Dunk and his final dunk was over a seated teammate in which he snatched the ball out of mid-air and smashed it through. Honestly, it was my favorite dunk of the night (simple, stylish, reminiscent of the ’80s) and I thought Evans should have won, but hey, what can you do? Take a look at the highlights again via the NBA:
All statistics via ESPN.com