Jayson Tatum nails half-court shot to win 2019 NBA Skills Challenge
Jack Baer | Yahoo Sports
As the finals of the 2019 NBA Skills Challenge reached its last stage, it was Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young who was first to the 3-point line. And yet, it was the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum who got the first shot off.
With an incredible half-court shot to close out the finals and cap off his third comeback in the event, Tatum won the Skills Challenge after topping Young, Nikola Jokic and Mike Conley in Charlotte. Tatum didn’t even break stride as he released the winning shot.
“I’m just here trying to have fun. I threw it up and it went in,” Tatum said in a TNT interview after the event.
Tatum had to come from behind in all three of his matchups, eventually prevailing in the 3-point shooting phase. In total, Tatum attempted just four 3-pointers, including the half-court shot, during the entire event.
First, Tatum edged the veteran Conley after falling behind due to a missed pass.
Joe Harris edges out Steph Curry to win 2019 3-Point Contest
Ryan Young | Yahoo Sports
Steph Curry has more than proven himself to be one of the best 3-point shooters in NBA history.
On Saturday night, however, the Golden State Warriors star fell just short.
Instead, it was Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris who dominated the 3-Point Challenge at the Spectrum Center on Saturday, winning the second contest of the night after posting a 26 in the championship round.
“I’m just fortunate to be here,” Harris said after the event on TNT. “We were talking about it coming in, obviously the field is stacked … It’s just an honor to be here, an honor to compete with everybody.”
And while many would be weary of going first, Harris was happy about it. That, he said, actually gave him an edge.
“I actually thought it would be an advantage because I was able to warm up beforehand,” Harris said on TNT. “Instead of coming down and sitting and getting cold, I was able to get warm and get myself in a rhythm.”
Harris flew threw the opening round of the contest, getting out to a hot start with a 25 after making his last eight shots and making all five of his money-rack shots.
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield edged Harris out for the lead with a 26 soon after. Curry, though, flew through the first round after making his final 10 shots — six of which were money balls — to grab the lead with 27.
Harris kicked off the championship round and upped his score to 26, thanks to a perfect money-ball rack to close out the round.
Hield started off slow in his championship round, making just five of his first 15 shots. The slow start plagued the Kings guard, who finished with 19 to secure a third-place finish.
Curry didn’t waste any time, hitting his first nine shots in the championship round. While it looked as if he was going to cruise to the win, Curry stalled near the halfway point. He missed the mark just slightly, finishing with a 24 to give Harris the win.
Harris, who was in his first 3-Point Contest, has averaged 13.9 points in 54 games for the Nets this season, and is shooting nearly 47 percent from behind the arc.
With Russ, Shaq and Migos behind him, Hamidou Diallo wins 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Jack Baer | Yahoo Sports
He didn’t exactly have a ton of competition, but it was Hamidou Diallo who shined the brightest during the 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday.
The Oklahoma City Thunder guard won the event with a litany of guest stars beside him, with Russell Westbrook, Migos’ Quavo and Shaquille O’Neal all making appearances.
Hamidou Diallo’s big night at the Slam Dunk Contest
The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the dunk featuring Shaq, in which Diallo jumped over the seven-footer and landed an incredible elbow dunk.
All in all, a pretty lackluster Slam Dunk Contest between the many tries some players needed and the sheer farce of some other attempts. But at least we had Diallo’s Shaq dunk, which is all we need to remember from this event.