NBA All-Star: Jayson Tatum, Joe Harris and Hamidou Diallo win titles

Jayson Tatum sank a half-court shot to win the Skills Challenge, Steph Curry got beaten by Joe Harris in 3-point Shootout and Hamidou Diallo jumping over Shaq and Quavo to win the Slam Dunk Title, these are just some of the wild happenings in the 2019 NBA All-Star Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

“Superman” dunks over “Superman”. Hamidou Diallo
“Superman” dunks over “Superman”. Hamidou Diallo showed his high-leaping ability by dunking over the 7’2” Shaquille O'neal and winning the 2019 Slam Dunk title.

2019 Skills Challenge has a different format compared to the previous years. Instead of a player taking his turn after the other, the 8 contestants were grouped into 4 for a one-on-one slugfest.

Hosts Karl Anthony Towns and rapper Ludacris picked the following players and and their respective groups. Pair 1: Nikola Vucevic vs. Nikola Jokic. Pair 2: Mike Conley vs. Jayson Tatum. Pair 3: De’aaron Fox vs. Trae Young. Pair 4: Kyle Kuzma vs. Luka Doncic.

Nikola Vucevic had a slight head start over Nikola Jokic but “The Joker” finished the duel with a dagger 3 pointer. Same fate for pair 2 where Mike Conley stepped on the gas early and beat Jayson Tatum in the passing course but the Celtic forward had the last laugh from the downtown.

De’aaron Fox finished the passing and fastbreak obstacles faster than Trae Young but Young, being known for his “Curry-esque” ability from the outside, dismantled Fox by just split of a second.

Everybody thought that Kyle Kuzma would win over Luka Doncic in the last set of the eliminations, but lo and behold, after completing the 2 challenges swiftly, the young Laker spent too long at the 3-point area that paved way for Doncic to advance to the semis.

Finally, “The Joker” met the Batman in Jayson Tatum who crushed his hopes in winning the 2019 Skills Challenge. Tatum on the other hand, will fight for the title versus Trae Young who outlasted Luka Doncic with just a single three-pointer in their own face-off.

The future stars of the NBA, Tatum and Young, wowed the crowd in their finals showdown. Flashier Trae Young, badly beat Jayson Tatum in the passing and fastbreak courses. To catch up with Young, Tatum took his last shot from the half court and banked the ball in to win the plum.

Jayson Tatum’s incredible half-court shot win:

It was a family affair as the Curry family, Steph, Seth and Dad Dell showed on the floor for the three point showdown. Dell was present for an exhibition shootout together with former stars Glenn Rice, Mark Price and Ray Allen.

During the contest proper and as expected, Stephen Curry topped the first round with 27 points where he made all the money ball but one. Curry advanced to the championship round with Buddy Hield and Joe Harris who have 26 and 25 points respectively.

Curry, Hield and Harris eliminated last year’s winner Devin Booker and other participants: Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton, Seth Curry, Damian Lillard, Danny Green and Dirk Nowitzki.

Despite starting hot and completing the 1st rack, Stephen Curry was 2-point shy to win the three-point king title. Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris is this year’s champion with 26 points beating both Steph Curry and Buddy Hield who only had 19.

All eyes are on the Slam Dunk contest where high-leaping young bloods showcased their aerial prowess to elate the fans.

Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins, OKC Thunders’ Hamidou Diallo, New York Knicks’ Dennis Smith Jr. and Charlotte Hornets’ Miles Bridges completed this year’s casts.

On round 1 of the eliminations, John Collins started with a simple reverse dunk. The catch however was, he held on the lower right corner of the board before slamming the ball in for 40 points.

Russell Westbrook, assisted Hamidou Diallo on the latter’s dunk attempt. Westbrook banked the ball on the corner while Diallo caught it for a windmill dunk that resulted to 48 points.

Dennis Smith Jr. self-tossed the basketball for a 360-windmill dunk for only 45 points after several failed tries.

Miles Bridges attempted a between the legs off the backboard but didn’t make it after the allotted time lapsed. The Judges gave Bridges 33 points for the effort.

On round 2, Bridges atoned his 1st round debacle for the first 50 score of the night with a corner backboard toss from Kemba Walker and finished it with a 360 windmill dunk.

Collins brought a mini airplane prop, leaped over it with a matching windmill finisher for 42 points. While Smith Jr. jumped over rapper J. Cole for perfect 50.

Diallo invited Shaquille Oneal and jump over the “Superman” and hung on the rim with his right arm inside it ala Vince Carter for a perfect score.

Here’s the video of Diallo’s death defying dunk over Shaq.

Dennis Smith Jr. and Hamidou Diallo arranged a finals dunk off after edging Collins and Bridges in the eliminations.

Smith Jr. failed to complete his dunk attempt in the 1st phase of the finals and garnered 35 points while Diallo earned 43 after peeking at the rim and throwing a nasty one-handed slam.

Desperate to win and post a perfect score, Dennis Smith Jr. pulled in Dwayne Wade and Steph Curry to aid him. Curry lobbed the basketball and Smith Jr. caught it after jumping over Wade. As he wished, that stunt gave Smith Jr. a perfect 50.

To win the battle, Diallo just needed 43 points. The OKC wingman brought rapper Quavo in and placed the ball on his head. Diallo took off from the sideline, grabbed the basketball from Quavo, jumped over him and wrapped it up with a two-handed windmill dunk for 45 points which is enough for him to trounce Smith Jr. and cop the trophy.

Watch Diallo’s winning dunk over Quavo.

Team Lebron James will face Team Giannis Antetokounmpo on February 17, 2019 (Monday, 9:00 am Manila time) to culminate the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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