Brooklyn's Spencer Dinwiddie captures Taco Bell Skills Challenge
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 18, 2018 11:34 AM
Brooklyn Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie holds up his trophy after winning the NBA All-Star basketball Skills Challenge, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
In the third year of guards vs. bigs in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the guards finally won. But it was a big guard that did it.
The Brooklyn Nets' 6'6" point guard Spencer Dinwiddie defeated the Chicago Bulls' Lauri Markkanen in the final round to take home the Skills Challenge trophy.
The Skills Challenge usually boils down to two things, the chest pass and the top-of-the-key three-pointer. Connect on the chest pass and you’re out to an early lead, but if you can’t make the three, your opponent can come from behind. Dinwiddie connected on his first chest pass to get out to a big lead on Markkanen. He missed his first three-point attempt, but still had plenty of time and sunk his second before Markkanen could make it to the line.
In the semifinals, Dinwiddie eliminated the Nuggets’ Jamal Murray, who had an early lead, but missed his first three-point attempt. Dinwiddie was right behind him and sunk his first three to advance to the final. Markkanen eliminated the Sixers’ Joel Embiid in what was an even matchup until the three-point shot, which Markkanen made on his first attempt.
In the first round, Dinwiddie came from behind and sank his first three-pointer to beat the Kings’ Buddy Hield, who missed his first two attempts. Murray took an early lead by connecting on his first chest pass and didn’t give it up, making his third three-point attempt before the Clippers’ Lou Williams could attempt his first.
Embiid eliminated the Celtics’ Al Horford, who had an early lead, but missed his first three three-point attempts, while Markkanen eliminated the Pistons’ Andre Drummond by completing his chest pass first and knocking down his first jumper.
The Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis was unable to defend his 2017 title, having torn his ACL earlier this month.