Jayson Tatum Wins 2019 NBA Skills Challenge: Recap, Highlights, Reaction

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 16: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics wins the 2019 Taco Bill Skills Challenge  during the 2019 Taco Bell Skills Challenge as part of the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on February 16, 2019 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kent Smith/Getty Images

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum defeated Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young in dramatic fashion in the 2019 NBA Skills Challenge to kick of All-Star Saturday Night at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The field was once again made up of a combination of both guards and big men:

  • Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
  • De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
  • Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
  • Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
  • Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
  • Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
  • Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic

The opening round featured a pair of the league's top young stars in Young and Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox. While Fox appeared to have the matchup in hand early on, Young stole the victory with a dramatic three-pointer from deep:

Fox, Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley and Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma were all eliminated in the first round.

The second round featured another compelling matchup, as Young went up against Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic. The two rookies were involved in a notable draft-day trade back in June. While Dallas and Atlanta faced off twice during the first half of the season, this was their first true head-to-head battle.

And it was Young who earned bragging rights.

Of note, Young is shooting just 31.2 percent from behind the arc this season. He went 2-of-2 on three-pointers en route to securing a spot in the finals against Tatum.

Unfortunately for Young, he was unable to keep up his clutch shooting in the final round, and it cost him as he got a taste of his own medicine. As Young made his way to the three-point line, Tatum let a prayer fly from beyond half-court:

Just like that, Tatum stunned Young to win the competition. And the internet had a hard time handling what just happened.

Tatum let it be known after that he was just looking to have fun while competing:

Now he has a trophy to remember all of the fun he had on this night.

Tatum becomes the first Celtic ever to win the Skills Challenge, an event that dates back to 2003.

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