After a stellar 25-point, ten-assist, seven-rebound performance in a win for Team USA in the Rising Stars game on Friday, Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young looked to build on what was an outstanding debut at All-Star Weekend in Saturday night’s NBA Skills Challenge.
Luka Doncic (DAL), De’Aaron Fox (SAC), Jayson Tatum (BOS), Mike Conley (MEM), Nikola Jokic (DEN), Nikola Vucevic (ORL) and Kyle Kuzma (LAL) participated in the competition as well.
Through a rather strange televised selection process involving Karl Anthony-Towns and Ludacris, it was determined that Young and Fox would face off in the first round.
A ridiculous one-footer from about 30 feet vaulted Young into the semi-finals.
Wow. @TheTraeYoung edges De'Aaron Fox to advance to the #TacoBellSkills semis! pic.twitter.com/HjacqU8jG8— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
Doncic took down Kuzma to set the stage for a semi-final showdown between the two of the NBA’s top rookies whom, as you might have heard, were traded for one another during last year’s NBA Draft.
Luka's just having fun with it!— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
He beats Kyle Kuzma to move on to the #TacoBellSkills semifinals! pic.twitter.com/rNvN1OSM5Z
Young used his quickness to race down the floor for the layup after missing on his first pass, then back to the other end where he hit his first three-point-attempt to win the round and advance to the final to face Tatum, who downed Jokic in the other semi-final.
Trae's not playing around!— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
He beats Luka Doncic to advance to the #TacoBellSkills championship! pic.twitter.com/rMuoNxDuMa
.@jaytatum0 edges the Joker to move on to the #TacoBellSkills championship! pic.twitter.com/zstyvXmkC3— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
Young went on to speed past Tatum out of the gates, but Tatum hit a ridiculous half-court shot to bridge the speed gap and take home the victory.
"NO HE DIDN'T!"@jaytatum0 hit the half-court bomb to defeat Trae Young and win the #TacoBellSkills challenge! pic.twitter.com/5NMz3h4Ajt— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2019
It was a fun start to the evening for some of the NBA’s top talent, but unfortunately Young was unable to bring home the trophy despite a valiant effort.