Kenneth Faried would not be denied by Team Shaq on Friday night in the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge in Houston, scoring a game-high 40 points on 18-of-22 shooting to lead Team Chuck to a blowout win.
Faried, known as the Manimal by many, poured in 19 first half points to power Team Chuck to a 90-66 halftime lead that it would never relinquish. Although it was an uncharacteristic performance in terms of production, Faried's night was highlighted by his usual unrelenting style (via ESPN Stats & Info):
Kenneth Faried won Rising Stars Challenge MVP with 40 pts. His regular-season career-high is 27 points.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 16, 2013
Below we'll look back on Faried's best moments from Friday's Rising Stars Challenge.
Slams Home Alley-Oop
Early on in the first half, Faried got the fans out of their seats with this tremendous dunk off a sweet pass from Ricky Rubio.
Faried had nearly as many dunks as points on Friday it seemed, as his aggressive play took center stage not long after the opening tip. If there were any doubts that Faried would be out of place in Saturday's Slam Dunk Contest, they were quickly erased after the first half of Friday's Rising Stars matchup.
Although Rubio played a key role in this highlight reel play, for the most part it was Faried doing all the work for Team Chuck, leading the team in points and rebounds (reeling in seven offensive boards).
First NBA 3-Pointer
Kenneth Faried has never even attempted a 3-pointer since entering the league in 2011, let alone make one. But on Friday, he sunk the only 3-point shot he attempted in the first half.
His 3-pointer was one of 17 made by Team Chuck on Friday, but without a doubt the most impressive.
You have to go all the way back to Faried's junior year at Morehead State to find the last time he attempted a 3-pointer in a game. Considering it may be three more years before the Manimal jacks one up from deep, this moment is one to remember.
The Manimal Claims MVP Honors
When the dust settled on Friday night, it was the Manimal, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
If his numbers weren't enough to earn it, his effort certainly was. While some of the other players treated Friday's game like it was the Celebrity Game, Faried was determined to bring his A-game and lead his team to a win. For that, he earned the highest honors possible.
His All-Star Weekend road won't end there, though, as the Manimal will take to another bright stage to showcase himself on Saturday night, where he'll compete in the much-anticipated Slam Dunk Contest.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.