Saturday, February 13, 2010
All-Star Saturday Night: HORSE
By Chris Forsberg
DALLAS -- Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo dispelled some myths about his ability to hit perimeter jumpers with an impressive showing during Saturday night's HORSE competition, but it wasn't enough to top one of the league's best pure shooters, as Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant repeated as HORSE champion during the second annual competition Saturday night at the Jam Session Center Court at the Dallas Convention Center.
Rondo, a career 26.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc, might have matched his season total of 3-pointers (12) during an hourlong competition that saw him hit from deep in the corner and then match Durant punch for punch from the top of the key to close out the competition.
After Sacramento's Omri Casspi bowed, Rondo and Durant struggled to make baskets and the contest, up against the TV clock, deteriorated to a preview of the 3-point shooting contest. You'd think that meant a quick exit for Rondo, but he battled, especially with his back against the wall, before Durant finally prevailed.
"[Durant] just kept making shot after shot, that's what he does," said Rondo, who admitted TNT pushed the gas pedal on the competition as the contestants struggled with their trick shots in the early going. "I shot with confidence and made a couple."
He made more than a couple, enough to joke that coach Doc Rivers might have to retool the offense and put in some offensive plays that feature Rondo spotting up behind the 3-point stripe.
Rondo also joked that he did so well beyond the arc that he was going to give teammate Paul Pierce some pointers before the 3-point Shootout later in the evening. Pierce won the event at the nearby American Airlines Center, topping Chauncey Billups and Stephen Curry in the finals.
Regardless of the result for Rondo, he walked away with a smile.
"I had a good time, I had a lot of fun," said Rondo. "I came out and hit some shots, but KD beat me out."
For the full shot log, check out after the jump.
1st shot: User-submitted clip forces all three competitors to shoot underhand, between their legs (like snapping a football) from top of the key. All three miss -- though Rondo's attempt hits off glass and rim, giving each competitor the H.
2nd shot:: Durant connects on 33-foot 3-pointer from right wing. Rondo matches and Casspi airballs, giving him HO.
3rd shot:: Durant connects over the glass from out of bounds. Rondo misses off the rim, giving him HO.
4th shot:: Casspi connects on banked free throw. Durant and Rondo match.
5th shot:: Casspi misses shot on halfcourt heave.
6th shot:: Durant misses long 3-pointer.
7th shot:: Rondo misses shot off shot clock above the basket. Made it during commercial, couldn't hit in primetime.
8th shot:: Casspi misses between-the-legs layup.
9th shot:: Durant misses from top of the key.
10th shot:: Rondo connects on feet-out-of-bounds 3-pointer from corner of floor. Casspi misses, giving him HOR.
11th shot:: Durant misses long 3-pointer.
12th shot:: Rondo one-handed overhead toss from midcourt misses.
13th shot:: Casspi misses kick ball from free throw line.
14th shot:: Durant misses long jumper.
15th shot:: Rondo connects on one-footed bank from 17 feet to side of hoop. Casspi and Durant matches.
16th shot:: Rondo misses from on scorer's table.
17th shot:: Casspi misses from deep.
18th shot:: Durant misses off back rim from behind the scorer's table.
19th shot:: Rondo misses layup with ball spinning on finger.
20th shot:: Casspi misses from riser at front of stands.
21st shot:: Durant connects on jumper from top of key (over kid in Jason Terry shirt). Rondo and Casspi match.
22nd shot::Durant makes up-and-under layup, touching ball on one side. Rondo and Casspi match.
23rd shot:: Durant misses from 30 feet at top of the key.
25th shot:: Casspi misses sitting on ground in key.
26th shot:: Durant misses between the legs free throw.
27th shot:: Rondo misses from elbow.
28th shot:: Casspi (finally) connects on the between-the-legs layup. Durant misses, giving him HO.
29th shot:: Rondo connects on corner 3-pointer from out of bounds. Casspi misses giving him HORS.
30th shot:: Durant connects on 3-pointer from wing. Rondo matches. Casspi misses, giving him HORSE. Casspi is eliminated (despite the fans chanting his name).
(NBA TV analyst Kevin McHale gives Rondo a few quick tips during a commercial break).
31st shot:: Durant misses from behind the courtside seats.
32nd shot:: Rondo connects on a between-the-leg, left-handed layup. Durant matches.
33rd shot:: Rondo misses top of the key 3-pointer.
34th shot:: Durant connects on 28-foot bomb from top of the key
It's a 3-point shootout:: Game deteriorates to a top-of-the-key 3-point contest with Durant hitting two in a row (with Rondo missing), giving the Boston guard HORS. They continue to trade and Durant picks up HOR. Both matching shot for shot. Durant prevails.