Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors blazed through the obstacle course in 28.2 seconds, winning the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center. Currey defeated former UCLA Bruin Russell Westbrook, now of the Thunder, in the finals. By winning the event, Curry won a $30,000 college scholarship from Taco Bell for a girl from a local Boys & Girls Club, perhaps his greatest assist of the season.
Curry and Westbrook outlasted John Wall of the Wizards, Derrick Rose of the Bulls, and Chris Paul of the Hornets in the first round. Westbrook had the best first-round time, of 30.0 seconds. Paul and Rose will both start at point guard in Sunday's All-Star Game.
The Skills Competition requires each contestant to run through a complicated obstacle course, which combines speed, passing, and shooting. Each player must complete a layup, followed by dribbling a slalom of sorts around four defenders, complete a straight pass, then a bounce pass to a specified target. This is followed by a jump shot from the top of the key, followed by a turn up court to complete an outlet pass, dribble around three defenders, and finish with a final layup.
Paul was the last competitor of the first round, and needed to beat Curry's time of 34.1 seconds to avoid elimination. Paul got off to the worst start of any of the competitors by missing his opening layup, which drew jeers from his competitors on the bench (reminiscent of Magic Johnson getting called for traveling in the 1988 NBA All-Star Game, which caused both benches to erupt in laughter).