Domantas Sabonis Wins 2021 NBA Skills Challenge: Recap, Highlights, Reaction

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 8, 2021

Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis plays during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

With defending champion Bam Adebayo not participating, the field was wide open for Domantas Sabonis to run away with the Skills Challenge title in the event that preceded the 2021 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday. 

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After getting beat to the arc by Nikola Vucevic, Sabonis sunk a three before his opponent to win the event after finishing as the runner-up last year. 

The Skills Challenge puts players into an obstacle course that tests dribbling, passing and shooting abilities in head-to-head contests. 

This year's field was more star-studded than last year's, which saw five All-Star selections battle it out for victory among eight competitors. This year, there were fewer participants, but just one was not participating in the All-Star Game (* denotes All-Star):

  • Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers
  • Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks*
  • Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns*
  • Julius Randle, New York Knicks*
  • Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers*
  • Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic*

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In the first matchup, Sabonis made quick work of Randle, who added flair to his dribbling portion and got beat by speed from the Pacers star. 

Then, he flew through his matchup with Doncic, shooting his three before Doncic even made it back into view of the television cameras from his layup. 

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Against Chris Paul, Vucevic—who defeated Robert Covington in the first round—got the edge over the veteran after each had to attempt several three-pointers before one found the net. 


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With that out of the way, most of the field will now turn its attention to the main event. The 2021 NBA All-Star Game tips off at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday.