The first event of NBA All-Star Saturday Night is in the books, and it did not disappoint. Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics took down Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks to win the Skills Challenge in thrilling fashion.
Falling behind after the layup portion, Tatum launched a halfcourt shot that banked in off the glass to steal the trophy away from Young.
The event started in creative fashion, as Karl-Anthony Towns — a former participant — and rapper Ludacris picked numbers from a big screen to match up the competitors.
From there, the single-elimination bracket played out, with plenty of excitement in the first few rounds, especially from Young. The rookie snuck in a deep 3-pointer just ahead of the shot from Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox in their first-round matchup.
After beating Fox, Young then moved on to face fellow rookie Luka Doncic. Those two, of course, will always be connected after being traded for each other on draft night last summer. Most people feel the Mavericks won that trade, but Young won this matchup, getting past Doncic to get to the title.
On the other side of the bracket, Tatum started out against veteran Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, and was well behind after struggling with the pass. Conley, however, couldn’t make the 3-pointer, and Tatum came from behind to win. Tatum’s second-round matchup with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic followed in similar fashion, as he advanced to the championship round.
Afterwards, defending champ Spencer Dinwiddie — unable to compete due to injury — called out Tatum and challenged him at next year’s All-Star Saturday Night.