UK in the NBA: Bledsoe ties for 3rd in dunk contest



By Nick Jones | @Kernel_Nick

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2013 NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, Texas could not have been complete without a presence from the Bluegrass state. Former UK stars, along with other players with links to the state of Kentucky, played an essential role in the three-day event.

Setting the tone for All-Star Weekend was the NBA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night. Team Chuck defeated Team Shaq 163-135 in a game that featured multiple ex-UK players, and virtually no effort on defense.

Anthony Davis, a starter for Team Chuck, scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 20 minutes of play.

Although the 6-foot-10 forward generally leaves fans on the edge of their seats as they hang on to his every move on the basketball court, Davis was less than thrilling on Friday night as he passed up on multiple opportunities to end up on the highlight reel, while settling for simple lay-ups and fundamental plays.

Davis’ teammate on Team Chuck, Brandon Knight, finished the Rising Stars Challenge with 10 points, six assists and 4 rebounds while leading his team to a blowout victory.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist faced off against his UK counterparts as he suited up for Team Shaq. Kidd-Gilchrist scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds while playing 23 minutes in a losing effort.

Morehead State alum, Kenneth Faried, received the MVP award, which is voted on by the leagues fans for the Rising Stars Challenge. Faried was seemingly one of the few young players who remained active on both ends of the floor throughout the duration of the game.

The second-year pro, who represented Team Chuck, scored 40 points while shooting 18-22 from the field. The athletic big-man grabbed 10 boards in the game as well.

Day two in the NBA All-Star weekend kicked off with the Developmental League All-Star Game. Former UK forward Terrence Jones was originally scheduled to play in the game at Sprint Arena.

However, Jones was forced to forfeit his roster spot when the Houston Rockets recalled the rookie to their active roster, making him ineligible to play in the 2013 NBA Developmental League All-Star Game.

After a break in the evening, Saturday night got underway at 8:30 p.m. with the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge, which is a competition hosting some of the leagues best guards.

Brandon Knight was the only former Cat in the field of six guards. Knight finished third in the obstacle course style competition with a first round time of 32.2 seconds.

The eventual champion was rookie sensation, Damian Lillard, who made history with two times under the 30-second mark.

The next event in All-Star Saturday night was the Three-Point Shootout Contest, which featured no former UK players.

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving won the competition for the first time in his young career, a surprise victory as he defeated San Antonio Spurs sharp-shooting forward Matt Bonner in the final round.

As the Three-Point Shootout wrapped up, Eric Bledsoe got set to take the stage in his first ever NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Bledsoe fared well in the competition as he tied for third place with Kenneth Faried.

Even with steady performances, their scores of 89 points through the first round left them watching the championship round from the sidelines. High-flying Toronto Raptors rookie Terrence Ross prevented former Western Kentucky big man Jeremy Evans from repeating as Slam Dunk Champion.

Ross captivated fans by displaying extreme athleticism during his attempt at recreating the infamous Vince Carter dunks of 2000. Ross won the contest putting on the number 15 jersey and catching a lob pass from his former teammate at Jefferson High School, Terrence Jones.

The finale tipped off at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday with the 2013 NBA All-Star game. The Western Conference All-Stars defeated the Eastern Conference All-Stars 143-138.

The Eastern Conference All-Stars were without their original starting point guard, Rajon Rondo, as he will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Rondo was the only former Cat to be selected to the 2013 NBA All-Star Roster.

Week 17 Schedule

Wednesday, February 20

New Orleans Hornets (Anthony Davis & Darius Miller) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 8:00 p.m. on ESPN

L.A. Lakers (Jodie Meeks) vs. Boston Celtics 10:30 p.m. on ESPN

Thursday, February 21

Chicago Bulls (Nazr Muhammad & Marquis Teague) vs. Miami Heat 8:00 p.m. on TNT

L.A. Clippers (Eric Bledsoe) vs. San Antonio Spurs 10:30 p.m. on TNT

Friday, February 22

Oklahoma City Thunder (DeAndre Liggins & Daniel Orton) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 8:00 p.m. on ESPN

Sunday, February 24

L.A Lakers (Jodie Meeks) vs. Dallas Mavericks 1:00 p.m. on ABC

Memphis Grizzlies (Tayshaun Prince) @ Brooklyn Nets 7:00 p.m. on ESPN

Chicago Bulls (Nazr Muhammad & Marquis Teague) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (DeAndre Liggins & Daniel Orton) 9:30 p.m. on ESPN


Player (team) GP MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG PPG
Eric Bledsoe (Clippers) 56 21.8 .453 .429 .798 3.1 3.3 9.6
Keith Bogans (Nets) 49 17.8 .404 .356 .692 1.7 0.9 4.2
DeMarcus Cousins (Kings) 49 31.4 .453 .182 .755 10.0 2.9 17.3
Anthony Davis (Hornets) 40 27.8 .514 .000 .702 7.5 0.9 12.5
Chuck Hayes (Kings) 53 16.4 .405 .000 .629 3.9 1.4 2.4
Terrence Jones (Rockets) 11 8.3 .382 .250 1.000 1.6 0.5 3.1
Enes Kanter (Jazz) 52 14.3 .541 .000 .750 4.1 0.4 6.4
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Bobcats) 49 25.9 .455 .222 .764 5.7 1.5 9.1
Brandon Knight (Pistons) 54 31.5 .404 .354 .750 3.4 4.3 13.5
Doron Lamb (Bucks) 23 12.2 .347 .250 .533 0.7 0.9 3.4
DeAndre Liggins (Thunder) 30 8.0 .421 .429 .500 1.5 0.5 1.5
Jodie Meeks (Lakers) 50 17.6 .402 .376 .927 1.9 0.8 7.8
Darius Miller (Hornets) 30 13.1 .364 .333 1.000 1.5 0.9 1.9
Nazr Mohammed (Bulls) 34 6.4 .192 .000 .571 1.6 0.2 0.8
Daniel Orton (Thunder) 6 4.8 .444 .000 .500 1.7 0.3 2.0
Patrick Patterson (Rockets) 47 25.9 .519 .365 .755 4.7 1.1 11.6
Tayshaun Prince (Grizzlies) 51 32.4 .449 .431 .768 4.5 2.5 11.5
Rajon Rondo (Celtics) 38 37.4 .484 .240 .645 5.6 11.1 13.7
Marquis Teague (Bulls) 31 7.2 .391 .000 .600 0.6 1.2 1.9
John Wall (Wizards) 18 28.8 .428 .077 .788 3.2 7.3 14.7