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Ball Don't Lie

Damian Lillard wins Taco Bell Skills Challenge

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Lillard laughs with Gary Payton and Sam Cassell before the Skills Challenge (Noah Graham/ Getty).

In the second event of the NBA's All-Star Saturday Night, Portland Trail Blazers rookie point guard Damian Lillard defeated Philadelphia 76ers All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to claim the trophy in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, an obstacle course that tests the various abilities necessary to be a quality NBA guard. Lillard ran the course in 29.8 seconds, beating Holiday by just under six seconds.

In the process, Lillard earned 10 points for the West team in the night's overall battle to benefit charity. However, the East won 30 points in the first round's team portion of the event, with their combined time of one minute and 50.9 seconds from Holiday, Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague, and Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight, besting the aggregate of one minute and 53.3 seconds from Lillard, Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin, and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker. That result can be blamed on Parker, who struggled to hit his jumper from the top of the key and generally lacked interest in the proceedings.

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After the victory for Team Bosh in the Sears Shooting Stars competition, that put the East team up by a score of 40-30 after two events. With the Foot Locker Three-Point Competition and Sprite Slam Dunk remaining, the West has plenty of opportunities to come back.

The Skills Challenge course includes shooting, dribbling around props in the shape of the NBA logo, and passing into angled baskets. Unfortunately, despite the sponsorship, the competition does not ask its participants to order limited-time items no longer on the menu (which can easily be made regardless because every Taco Bell product has the same ingredients) or eat five tacos without feeling sick. There's always next year, I suppose.

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