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Clarkson Bounced In First Round of Skills Challenge

TORONTO — Lakers fans who turned their TVs on a couple minutes late were likely surprised to see that Jordan Clarkson’s All-Star Saturday Night was already done.

The sophomore Laker fell against Portland’s C.J. McCollum in the very first head-to-head matchup of the eight-man Skills Challenge.

The two were locked in a close race through the dribbling and passing portions of the obstacle course, but McCollum hit his layup first, giving him a few seconds of cushion on Clarkson. McCollum then sunk his first shot at the 3-point finish line to eliminate Clarkson.

McCollum was then knocked out by Boston’s Isaiah Thomas in the semifinals. In a championship match between the winners of the guards and big men brackets, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns took home the title after missing three triples until finally connecting.

Fortunately for Clarkson, his speedy exit at the Skills Competition came on the heels of a strong performance at the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, as he collected 25 points, five rebounds, five assists, five 3-pointers and four steals in 23 minutes.