Wall falls in skills chal­lenge

The Washington Post Sunday - - PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL - — Can­dace Buck­ner

There must be some­thing about All-Star Week­end that saps Wizards guard John Wall’s skills.

On Satur­day night, he com­peted in his third skills chal­lenge and ex­pe­ri­enced the same re­sult as the other times: a first-round elim­i­na­tion.

“I don’t know what hap­pened,” Wall said.

The head-to-head com­pe­ti­tion puts play­ers through an on-court ob­sta­cle course with drib­bling, pass­ing and — Wall’s great­est foe in these con­tests — shoot­ing.

Wall kicked off the event op­po­site Utah’s Gor­don Hay­ward. Wall jumped to an early lead over Hay­ward by us­ing his speed but then needed three tries to make a chest pass into a cir­cu­lar tar­get. Wall still held the lead un­til the fi­nal chal­lenge, an above-the-arc, pullup three-pointer. While Wall’s first shot missed, Hay­ward made his.

Af­ter dis­patch­ing Wall, Hay­ward made the fi­nals but lost to New York’s Kristaps Porzingis.

Wall, a four-time all-star, should be rested for Sun­day’s All­Star Game. He has set a lofty goal: get­ting the MVP trophy.

“That means a lot of shots,” Wall said. “Hope­fully [the East­ern Con­fer­ence] can win and I’ll be the lead­ing scorer.”

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