2024 NBA All Star Saturday Night Recap:

Written by on February 24, 2024

Last Saturday, the NBA hosted its annual NBA All-Star Saturday night, this time in Indiana, as part of All Star Weekend. There were four total challenges that took place, which were the skills challenge, three point contest, dunk contest, and Steph vs Sabrina. Here is a recap of what went down on Saturday. Kicking off All-Star Saturday night was the NBA skills challenge, as the hometown Team Pacers (Tyrese Haliburton, Benedict Mathurin, Myles Turner) faced off against Team Top Picks (Paolo Banchero, Victor
Wembanyama, Anthony Edwards) and Team All Stars (Scottie Barnes, Tyrese Maxey, Trae Young). The skills challenge was set in a format of three competitions, the first two rewarding 100 points to the winning team, and the third rewarding 200. The first contest was the relay race, where all three members of each team had to complete a course that included shooting, passing and dribbling drills. Team Pacers took the win with a time of 1:07, giving them the first 100 points of the contest. They played through the course perfectly, whereas the other two teams struggled through it. The second contest was the passing challenge, where the teams had to pass from specific spots on the
court. Team Pacers and Team All Stars tied for first place both with 76 points, and they both participated in a sudden death round, with Team Pacers coming out on top with a score of 92, securing another 100 points in the challenge. The third contest was the shooting challenge, worth 200 points. There were 5 spots to shoot from, each of
them from a different distance. Team All Stars absolutely dominated this competition with a score of 33, whereas Team Pacers and Team Top Picks couldn’t even reach 20. Since the contest was tied, Team Pacers and Team All Stars went into a sudden death round. The first team to make a half court shot would win the contest, and that ended up being Team Pacers as they were able to hit the shot in just 38 seconds, beating Team All Stars by 20 seconds. The crowd went electric as the home team was able to get the win in the skills challenge. Next up was the NBA Three Point contest. The participants were returning 2023 Three Point contest champion Damian Lillard, Trae Young, Karl Anthony Towns, Malik Beasley, Jalen Brunson, Lauri Markannen, Donovan Mitchell, and Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton. Three players were supposed to move on to the finals, but four of them tied the top score with 26. Towns, Lillard, Young and Haliburton competed in a second round with Haliburton getting eliminated. Damian Lillard ended up winning the contest with a score of 26 in the finals, becoming the first player since 2008 to go back to back in the three point contest. Once the three point contest ended, Stephen Curry and WNBA player Sabrina Lonescu had their own three point shootout, with included only one round. Lonescu decided to shoot from the NBA 3 point
range, and on a 10 inch hoop, though she did use the WNBA ball. This made the challenge significantly harder for Sabrina, as she was not shooting from her normal range. Despite that, she was still able to get a great score of 26, which would’ve tied Lillard’s score if she was in the 3 point contest. Unfortunately for her, Curry shot lights out in his round, scoring a total of 29 points, which was the highest score of the night. Although Curry won the contest, Sabrina was still able to prove that anybody could become good at
their craft if they put time and effort into it. The final event of the night was the NBA Dunk contest. The four competitors of the contest were 2023 dunk contest champion Mac McClung, Jaylen Brown, Jaime Jaquez Jr and Jacob Toppin. In round 1, each competitor had two dunks that would be scored on a scale of 50. Jaylen Brown (96.4) and Mac McClung (97.4) moved on to the finals with the highest scores. Brown’s first dunk in the finals was a tribute to Terrence Clarke, who tragically passed away in a car crash while he was in college, before he got a chance to play professionally. McClung countered that dunk by jumping over two people in his first dunk of the finals. Brown’s second dunk was a windmill over streamer and influencer Kai Cenat, but McClung topped that with a dunk over 7 '2 Shaquille O'neal, winning the dunk contest once again.
This season’s All-Star Saturday night was history making for multiple reasons. This was the first time in NBA history where the three point contest and dunk contest saw back to back champions in the same year. Sabrina Lonescu proved that WNBA players could keep up with NBA players from beyond the arc, and there will likely be more WNBA players participating in the All-Star challenges in the future. Saturday’s games were a mix of fun and excitement, which saw 6 players win in their respective challenges.