Hawks rookie Trae Young greets teammate John Collins before he competes in the Skills Challenge at All-Star Saturday night. Photo by Scott Cunningham. Scott Cunningham
Photo: Scott Cunningham
Photo: Scott Cunningham

Tatum’s desperation heave downs Young in final of Skills Challenge 

Trae Young lost on a half-court shot.

The Hawks’ rookie point guard was the victim of the desperation heave by the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum in the final of the Skills Challenge at NBA All-Star Saturday Night in Charlotte.

Young advanced to the final with two wins. He had a sizable lead on Tatum as he approached the final 3-point attempt. As Young was squaring up from the line, Tatum had his half-court heave go in off the backboard ahead of Young’s attempt.

“For me, it was tough,” Young told reporters. “I knew for a fact that if his shot wasn’t going in, mine was.”

Young advanced to the finals with a victory over, of course, the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic. Doncic won hist first-round matchup over the Laker’s Kyle Kuzma. Young overtook Doncic on the court-length dribble for a layup and then made his 3-point attempt on the opposite end.

Young won his opening matchup against the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox. Young had trouble with the initial pass and fell behind. He launched his 3-point attempt from about 30 feet to edge Fox despite the sizeable lead.

Tatum advanced to the final with wins over the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley and the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic before his dramatic victory.

“The previous two rounds, the guy was ahead of me,” Tatum said. “Figured I'd let him get a shot attempt so I could get closer to the 3-point line. I didn't want to give Trae a chance. I honestly didn't know I was going to hit the shot, but I had to give myself a chance, throw it up there, and it worked out for the best.”

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