HOUSTON, Texas – Portland Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard captured the NBA Skills Challenge on Saturday, outclassing Houston’s Jeremy Lin and 2012 winner Tony Parker of San Antonio.
The obstacle course event — which makes players dribble, shoot and pass — was part of the All-Star Saturday festivities on the eve of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, include the later 3-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest.
In the opening round, Lillard completed the Skills Challenge in 28.8 seconds to oust Lin, the NBA’s first Asian-American player, and Frenchman Parker.
Lin, whose parents are from Taiwan, completed the course in 35.8 while Parker struggled to finish in 48.7. Parker failed to match Dwyane Wade and Steve Nash as multiple winners in the decade-old event.
Lillard advanced to the final against Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday, whose preliminary run of 29.3 ousted Detroit’s Brandon Knight and Atlanta’s Jeff Teague.
Holiday opened at 35.6 but Lillard followed with a winning effort of 29.8 that was punctuated with a finishing slam dunk.