BROOKLYN — Patrick Beverley just kept at it.
Houston’s Beverley came from behind in the semifinal and final rounds to win the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. In the semis, Beverley struggled with the chest pass portion of the course, allowing Atlanta’s Jeff Teague to build a big lead. But when Teague couldn’t knock down the final jumper, Beverley caught up and sank his first attempt to advance. His championship round against Milwaukee’s Brandon Knight followed a similar route, as Beverly again struggled with passing, but made his first shot to win the Challenge.
Last year there were two Skills Contest winners — Utah’s Trey Burke and Portland’s Damian Lillard — who competed as teammates representing the Western Conference. Lillard announced he wouldn’t participate in the Skills Contest when he was initially left off of the All-Star roster, although he was later added to the game. Burke was eliminated in the first round after struggling to compete the chest pass portion of the course.
Knight vs. Lowry 2nd Round
Brandon Knight defeats Kyle Lowry in the 2nd round to advance to the final round.
This year the East vs. West idea was scrapped, and for the first time in skills challenge history, a tournament format was utilized, winnowing the field down from eight contestants into the final pairing of Beverley against Knight.
For the first time, this year the contestants were put on side-by-side courses so they could compete at the same time. The head-to-head action generated some amusing moments, and made it the competition between competitors much more tangible. It also made clear just how improbable Beverley’s back-to-back winning shots were.
Courtesy of NBA.com.