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Former Gonzaga standout Domantas Sabonis wins NBA All-Star Skills Challenge

UPDATED: Sun., March 7, 2021

By Charles Odum Associated Press

ATLANTA – Former Gonzaga and current Indiana Pacers standout Domantas Sabonis made sure the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge still belongs to the bigs.

After a runner-up finish to 2020 Skills Challenge winner and fellow big man Bam Adebayo of Miami, Sabonis returned to win the title on Sunday night.

The 6-foot-11 Sabonis did not miss a pass or 3-point shot in elimination wins over Julius Randle of the New York Knicks and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks in the tests of passing, ball-handling and shooting ability.

Sabonis beat Orlando’s 7-foot Nikola Vucevic in the matchup of big men for the skills title. Each missed two 3-point shots before Sabonis sank his third attempt and then clenched his fist in victory.

“It was fun,” Sabonis said. “I wanted to come out and make sure I got it done this time.”

Sabonis followed up his title by scoring two points, securing one rebound and handing out one assist in Team LeBron’s 170-150 victory over Team Durant in Sunday’s All-Star Game. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 35 points on 16-for-16 shooting and earned MVP honors.

In other All-Star Game contests:

• Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors superstar, sank his final 3-pointer to edge Utah’s Mike Conley for the 3-point contest title. Curry also won the 3-point content in 2015.

• Portland’s Anfernee Simons topped rookie Obi Toppin for the Slam Dunk crown with a series of high-flying jams, including one where he pretended to kiss the rim.

It was the first time a Trail Blazers player has won the dunk title.

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