Rockets guard knocks off Brandon Knight to take competition
POSTED: Feb 15, 2015 4:41 PM ET
2015 Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Patrick Beverley pulls the upset and takes the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
BROOKLYN — Patrick Beverley just kept at it.
Houston's Beverley came from behind in the semifinal and final rounds to win the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. In the semis, Beverley struggled with the chest pass portion of the course, allowing Atlanta's Jeff Teague to build a big lead. But when Teague couldn't knock down the final jumper, Beverley caught up and sank his first attempt to advance. His championship round against Milwaukee's Brandon Knight followed a similar route, as Beverly again struggled with passing, but made his first shot to win the Challenge.
Last year there were two Skills Contest winners — Utah's Trey Burke and Portland's Damian Lillard — who competed as teammates representing the Western Conference. Lillard announced he wouldn't participate in the Skills Contest when he was initially left off of the All-Star roster, although he was later added to the game. Burke was eliminated in the first round after struggling to compete the chest pass portion of the course.
Knight vs. Lowry 2nd Round
Brandon Knight defeats Kyle Lowry in the 2nd round to advance to the final round.
This year the East vs. West idea was scrapped, and for the first time in skills challenge history, a tournament format was utilized, winnowing the field down from eight contestants into the final pairing of Beverley against Knight.
For the first time, this year the contestants were put on side-by-side courses so they could compete at the same time. The head-to-head action generated some amusing moments, and made it the competition between competitors much more tangible. It also made clear just how improbable Beverley's back-to-back winning shots were.
> WINNER - Patrick Beverley (Rockets) - replacing John Wall
> Trey Burke (Jazz)
> Brandon Knight (Bucks)
> Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
> Elfrid Payton (Magic) - replacing Michael Carter-Williams
> Dennis Schröder (Hawks) - replacing Jimmy Butler
> Jeff Teague (Hawks)
> Isaiah Thomas (Suns)
> John Wall (Wizards)
• Magic's Payton, Hawks' Schroder added to Taco Bell Skills
• Rockets' Beverley to replace Wizards' Wall in Taco Bell Skills Challenge
• Butler, Wall headline 2015 Taco Bell Skills Challenge
2014 - Team West: Trey Burke, Jazz & Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
2013 - Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
2012 - Tony Parker, Spurs
2011 - Stephen Curry, Warriors
2010 - Steve Nash, Suns
2009 - Derrick Rose, Bulls
2008 - Deron Williams, Jazz
2007 - Dwyane Wade, Heat
2006 - Dwyane Wade, Heat
2005 - Steve Nash, Suns
2004 - Baron Davis, Hornets
2003 - Jason Kidd, Nets