Lillard outshines Lin, Parker to win Skills Challenge
HOUSTON, Texas - Portland Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard captured the NBA Skills Challenge on Saturday, outclassing Houston's Jeremy Lin and 2012 winner Tony Parker of San Antonio.
|West All-Star Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers holds the trophy after winning the Skills Challenge during the NBA basketball All-Star weekend in Houston, Texas, February 16, 2013. Photo byJeff Haynes, Reuters.|
The obstacle course event -- which makes players dribble, shoot and pass -- was part of the All-Star festivities on the eve of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game. They also included the Three-Point Contest won by Cleveland's Kyrie Irving.
Irving made 17 of his first 18 three-point attempts in the final round on his way to scoring 23 points and defeating San Antonio's Matt Bonner, who finished with 20.
In the Skills Challenge opening round, Lillard completed the course in 28.8 seconds to oust Lin, the NBA's first Asian-American player, and Frenchman Parker.
Lin, whose parents are from Taiwan, completed the course in 35.8, while Parker struggled to finish in 48.7. Parker failed to match Dwyane Wade and Steve Nash as multiple winners in the decade-old event.
Lillard advanced to the final against Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday, whose preliminary run of 29.3 ousted Detroit's Brandon Knight and Atlanta's Jeff Teague.
Holiday opened at 35.6, but Lillard followed with a winning effort of 29.8 that was punctuated with a finishing slam dunk.
Irving scored 18 points in the preliminary round of the Three-Point Contest to advance past New York's Steve Novak with 17 and Indiana's Paul George with 10.
Bonner had eliminated Golden State's Stephen Curry with 17 and Ryan Anderson on New Orleans with 18.
The festivities will conclude later with the Slam Dunk Contest.
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