TORONTO — Karl-Anthony Towns showed big men have skills too Saturday night as the seven-footer from the Minnesota Timberwolves beat Boston guard Isaiah Thomas in the NBA skills challenge.
Thomas had the early lead but Towns caught him on their second trip down the court. At the final three-point shot, both men stumbled but Towns made it on his fourth attempt.
The 20-year-old Towns, the first-overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, was mobbed by players after he made the winning shot.
On a day that also saw the East and West NBA all-stars practise and the East beat the West 128-124 in the D-League all-star game, the spotlight switched to individual skills Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.
The NBA showed no shortage of sponsors in naming the evening and its events.
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night featured the Taco Bells Skill Challenge, the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Verizon Slam Dunk Contest.
First up was the Skill Challenge, which featured big men as well as guards.
The three-round, obstacle-course competition tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills with front court players — Towns, DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento, Anthony Davis of New Orleans and Draymond Green of Golden State competing against guards Thomas, Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers, CJ McCollum of Portland and Emmanuel Mudiay of Denver.