NBA All-Star Weekend 2014 kicked off last night with the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge, formerly known as the rookie-sophomore game. Team Hill, featuring Andre Drummond, the MVP, took home the win 142-136 over Team Webber,
For New York Knicks fans, though, the game was worth watching because of rookie Tim Hardaway Jr.’s explosion.
There’s almost no defense played in these games, but Hardaway Jr. went off for a game-leading 36 points, knocking down three-pointer and after three-pointer. He and Cleveland’s Dion Waiters stole the show as the two dueled it out in front of a boisterous arena. Waiters added 31 points of his own, at one point scoring 14 straight points.
Check out the video of Hardaway Jr. and Waiters’s battle (via NBA):
Waiters’s game was impressive, but no doubt Hardaway put on the better show. The back-to-back three-pointers from 30 feet out had spectators “ooh”-ing and “ahh”-ing. Kevin Durant and James Harden, sitting sideline, jumped to their feet in celebration at THJ’s show.
Hardaway Jr. also wowed the crowd with an insane 360-reverse layup and a double-clutch reverse dunk.
The Knicks may have had a completely disappointing season so far, but Hardaway Jr. remains a reason to keep watching.