Postgame: Sabonis on 2021 All-Star Experience

March 7, 2021 - Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis reflects on playing in his second All-Star Game and winning the Skills Challenge, then looks forward to the second half of the season.

2021 All-Star

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Postgame: Sabonis on 2021 All-Star Experience

March 7, 2021 - Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis reflects on playing in his second All-Star Game and winning the Skills Challenge, then looks forward to the second half of the season.
Mar 7, 2021  |  01:31

Sabonis Slams It

March 7, 2021 - Domantas Sabonis throws it down in the All-Star Game.
Mar 7, 2021  |  00:06

Cassius Stanley on 2021 Dunk Contest Experience

March 7, 2021 - Pacers guard Cassius Stanley discusses his performance in the 2021 Slam Dunk Contest, his surprise at the scores for his first dunk, and whether he would participate in the contest again.
Mar 7, 2021  |  02:01

Dunk No. 2 by Stanley

March 7, 2021 - Cassius Stanley completes his second dunk of the night.
Mar 7, 2021  |  00:07

Cassius' First Dunk

March 7, 2021 - Cassius Stanley rocks the rim with his first slam.
Mar 7, 2021  |  00:10

Sabonis Wins the Skills Challenge

March 7, 2021 - In the final round of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Domantas Sabonis defeated Nikola Vucevic.
Mar 7, 2021  |  00:37

Sabonis Skills Challenge: Round 2

March 7, 2021 - Domantas Sabonis defeats Luka Doncic in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
Mar 7, 2021  |  00:35

Sabonis Skills Challenge: Round 1

March 7, 2021 - Domantas Sabonis defeats Julius Randle in the first round of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
Mar 7, 2021  |  00:35

Sabonis Excited for 2021 All-Star Experience

March 7, 2021 - Domantas Sabonis discusses what it means to represent the Pacers and Lithuania in his second All-Star Game, his hopes for the game and the Skills Challenge, and teammate Cassius Stanley's prospects in the Slam Dunk Contest.
Mar 7, 2021  |  01:57

Cassius Stanley Has "Original Dunks" Planned for Dunk Contest

March 5, 2021 - Pacers and Mad Ants guard Cassius Stanley discusses how he was invited to participate in the 2021 Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend, his preparation, and his dunking idols and memories.
Mar 5, 2021  |  02:39

LeBron Drafts Domas

March 4, 2021 - For the second straight season, LeBron James drafted Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis to play on his team in the All-Star Game.
Mar 4, 2021  |  00:25

Shaq Picks Cassius Stanley to Win Dunk Contest

March 2, 2021 - Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal predicts that Pacers rookie Cassius Stanley will win the Slam Dunk Contest at 2021 NBA All-Star Weekend in Atlanta.
Mar 2, 2021  |  00:21

Shaq Picks Sabonis to Win Skills Competition

March 2, 2021 - Shaquille O'Neal doubles down on his Pacers predictions for 2021 All-Star Weekend, picking Domantas Sabonis to win the Skills Competition in Atlanta.
Mar 2, 2021  |  00:13

Sabonis Wins Skills Challenge in Second All-Star Appearance

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

For the second straight year, Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis reached the final of the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend. After falling to Bam Adebayo in the finals a year ago, Sabonis came away with the title on Sunday night in Atlanta, defeating Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic in the finals.

"It was definitely fun," Sabonis said. "Since I'm here (for the All-Star Game), I said 'Why not? Let's do it again.' I'm glad I got it done this time.

"It's just a lot of fun to get out there. It's actually a good warm-up before the game."

Sabonis made quick work of Knicks All-Star forward Julius Randle in the first round, nailing the pass on his first try while Randle botched his first attempt, then knocking down the 3-pointer to finish the round on his first attempt before Randle could even get a shot off.

PHOTO GALLERY: Pacers at 2021 All-Star Weekend »

That set up a semifinal showdown with Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who had a bye in the first round. Doncic struggled worse than Randle on the passing station, while Sabonis once again was flawless, securing another easy win.

In the final, he faced off against Vucevic, who knocked out Chris Paul in a tightly contested semifinal. Sabonis trailed Vucevic slightly down the final stretch and both players struggled to hit the 3-pointer at the end. But the 6-11 Lithuanian fired shots in quick succession, eventually connecting on his fourth attempt to come away with the title.

Later that night, Sabonis made his second All-Star appearance official when he checked in to the All-Star Game for the first time to start the second quarter. He got the ball on his first possession, but missed a turnaround jumper over Kyrie Irving on the baseline.

He got on the board at the 8:04 mark, when he received a dish from Doncic and threw down a two-hand slam.

Sabonis' Team LeBron won each of the first three quarters, entering the fourth quarter with a commanding 146-125 lead. Under the new All-Star Game rules installed last year, the untimed fourth quarter set a target score of 170 (the leading teams' score through three quarters plus 24) to end the game.

Sabonis started the fourth quarter and quickly helped his team near closer to victory, corralling the rebound after Doncic missed a three and kicking to Jaylen Brown in the left corner for a three. Brown hit the shot and was fouled on the play. The ensuing free throw completed a four-point play and gave Team LeBron 153 points.

The Pacers big man checked out for the final time with his team leading 159-141. Damian Lillard took over from there, scoring Team LeBron's final 11 points and closing with three straight 3-pointers, the final one from halfcourt to seal a 170-150 victory.

Sabonis logged 18 minutes, tallying two points, one rebound, and one assist.

"During the game I'm sitting next to a bunch of MVPs," Sabonis said. "Obviously, it's the best league in the world. Hall of Famers, all-time greats, just trying to soak it all in. Leaving with a 'W' always makes it better."

By winning each of the first three quarters and the game, Team LeBron raised $1.25 million to be donated to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP after scoring 35 points on perfect 16-for-16 shooting.

Stanley Competes in Dunk Contest

Pacers rookie Cassius Stanley finished in third place in the 2021 Slam Dunk Contest, which was held during halftime of Sunday's All-Star Game.

Stanley went first in the competition and threw down an impressive slam on his first attempt. After lobbing the ball up in the air, he caught it off the bounce with his right hand and went between his legs for a left-handed slam.

The Pacers rookie looked like he expected a perfect score of 50 from the judges, but he only received a 44. That put him in third place entering the second round, after Knicks forward Obi Toppin was given a 48 and Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons received a 46.

"I think my dunk was pretty good," Stanley said after the competition. "The judges thought it was the lowest dunk of the round, so that is what it is. It's an opinionated thing."

In the second round, Stanley originally appeared to be attempting a dunk where he put it under both legs, but couldn't complete the transfer on two attempts. He then changed course and tried a simpler lob into a one-hand tomahawk dunk, which he missed once before completing on the second try.

The judges gave Stanley a 37 for his second dunk, preventing him from advancing to the finals. He declined to reveal what dunk he had planned for the finals in case he is invited back to compete again, but did say that Sabonis was going to be involved in his last dunk.

Simons won the contest, defeating Toppin in the finals, which was determined by a 3-2 vote from the judges' panel, with Jason Richardson, Dominique Wilkins, and Dee Brown voting for Simons while Spud Webb and Josh Smith picked Toppin as the winner.

"I want to do it again," Stanley said. "I'll do it next year. I think I know what I've got to do and what I don't have to do."

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