Feb 13, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) drives with the ball against the New Orleans Hornets during the second half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets defeated the Trail Blazer 99-63. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard wins 2013 Taco Bell Skills Challenge


Rookie point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers came away with the trophy in the 2013 Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday night, beating out Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers in the head-to-head round. Due to their collective performance, the Eastern Conference came away with 30 points compared to the 10 points that Lillard brought in with his overall victory.

The Eastern Conference Skills Challenge squad, which consisted of Holiday, Brandon Knight and Jeff Teague, finished with a total running time of 1:50.9. Lillard, Jeremy Lin and Tony Parker made up the Western Conference’s Skills team, but the 2012 champion couldn’t get the job done for his crew. Parker, who may have been too confident in his passing and shooting abilities, was eager to get from station to station. On two instances he moved on to the next station before completing a challenge and went through a whole rack of balls when attempting the long-range shot.

Parker’s time of 48.7 seconds gave the Western Conference a total running time of 1:53.3, thus awarding the Eastern Conference 30 points to their nightly total. Lillard, who finished with the best time in the team and individual skill challenges, clocked times of 28.8 seconds and 29.8 seconds. On his second try he became the only player to make his long-range shot on his first attempt.

Holiday, who met up with Lillard in the final round, finished with the best time on Team East. He started off with a blazing time of 29.3 seconds, but finished with a respectable 35.6 seconds. Lillard was too quick and efficient in his performance to give Holiday any chance of winning. Due to that, Lillard earned the Western Conference 10 points.

Also, during the broadcast the TNT announcers were discussing which player had the best handles in the league. They came to a consensus that “Kyrie has the tightest handle in the NBA.”

Updated Score: Eastern Conference 40, Western Conference 30

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