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Lauri Markkanen finishes 2nd in NBA Skills Challenge

Markkanen comes up just short in the opening act of All-Star Saturday

NBA: All Star Saturday Night Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Arizona Wildcats forward and current Bulls star Lauri Markkanen made it to the final round of the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge, before falling to Nets guard and former Colorado standout Spencer Dinwiddie.

Markkanen was one of four big men invited to the competition, along with Joel Embiid of the Sixers, Andre Drummond of the Pistons, and Al Horford of the Celtics.

Markkanen defeated Drummond first, then beat Embiid, despite Embiid’s best attempt at bending the rules (all while he still had the tag on his shorts). Markkanen faced Dinwiddie in the championship round, which the latter won fairly handily.

The Skills Challenge is a competition between guards and forwards to see who is the best at dribbling, passing, layups, and 3-point shots. The big men had never lost in the current format before tonight.

This was the second event Markkanen participated in during All-Star Weekend. He was also a member of the World Team in Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge, finishing with 15 points and 6 boards on 7-of-11 shooting.

Markkanen is having a fantastic rookie season, averaging 15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds a night for Chicago.

The Finn became the fastest player to reach 100 made 3s in his NBA career, showing his prowess both inside and outside the arc.