Saturday night’s festivities at the NBA’s All-Star weekend in Chicago, Illinois featured several highlights from established and up-and-coming stars. Along with the action on the court, Trail Blazers frontman Damian Lillard provided a memorable musical performance.
The night of competition opened with the Skills Challenge. The opening round pitted guards against bigs. Surprisingly, the big fellas stole the show in the opening round. Heat center Bam Adebayo, who isn’t known for his shooting, made quick work of Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie with a flawless three-pointer to advance.
Pacers center Domantas Sabonis, who beat out Jayson Tatum and Khris Middleton, met Adebayo in the final round of the challenge. In the end, Adebayo was not going to be denied. In a neck-and-neck final round, it was the Heat big man that took home the trophy.
Following the Skills Challenge, the NBA’s best sharpshooters took center stage for the 3-Point Competition. With Lillard out of the competition, Suns guard Devin Booker stepped into the fold.
Unlike previous years, the 2020 competition featured two spots beyond the three-point line worth three points per make.
The first round featured several efficient performances. Booker, Buddy Hield and Davis Bertans advanced past the opening frame. Booker was the only player to connect on both shots from the 30-foot mark.
The final round featured a memorable showdown between Booker and Hield. It came down to the final shot for the Hield. The Kings shooter narrowly beat Booker’s score by a single point to claim the trophy.
The conclusion of the 3-Point Competition led to the musical performance from Lillard. Performing as Dame D.O.L.L.A., Lillard took the stage for two songs. The Blazers star was joined by Jeremih and Lil Wayne.
For those who missed it, the Trail Blazers provided an extended clip of the performance:
Lillard’s performance set the stage for the final event of the night: the All-Star Dunk Competition.
Pat Connaughton, donning the outfit of Billy Hoyle from the movie White Men Can’t Jump, got the crowd going with a high-flying dunk over MLB star Christian Yelich.
Aaron Gordon finished the first round with a perfect 50-point score thanks to this explosive slam:
Derrick Jones Jr. provided fireworks with his second dunk. His gravity-defying finish set the stage for the final round against Gordon.
Both Jones and Gordon earned perfect scores in the final round. Due to the tie, the competition was settled with a dunk off. The two high-flying forwards exchanged thunderous dunks, but it was Jones’ Jordan-inspired finish that took home the title.
Despite a second-place finish, Gordon managed to complete a dunk over 7-foot-5 Tacko Fall on his final attempt.
All-Star weekend concludes on Sunday with the main event.