It doesn’t matter what Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson or Draymond Green do the rest of the night. Harrison Barnes was a participant in the NBA’s Talent Challenge on Saturday, and let’s just say he stole the show.

Green loses in the first round in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge to rookie Karl-Anthony Towns. It wasn’t near the result he wanted, as he made clear with his emphatic reaction when Towns made the deep ball before him. Towns will be special, but Green was expected to win with one of the best odds in the competition.

What a fantastic national look for Green, who has been appearing in ads leading up to Saturday night for weeks. Kevin Hart is everywhere, and for Green to be participating in such a fun exhibition with one of the most recognizable figures in entertainment was impressive. Of course Green won, but the outcome hardly mattered. The Saginaw native is now a star, and Saturday proved once again that his charisma and personality as long as his play will get him a long way.

Solid first round performance from Klay Thompson, who had extra seconds to spare if he wanted on his final rack. He arguably has the better shooting stroke than Curry, and could easily win multiple contests if his teammate wasn’t of such historical greatness. The talks around the Air Canada Centre were that of: “These guys on the same team should be against the rules.”

Curry hits the final money ball to advance to the final round. Starting off slow, Curry picked it up and simply needed a little pressure to start hitting. Klay Thompson still leads with 22 as both Splash Brothers make it into the next stage of the contest. Did you expect anything different?

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!? In another duel of the two best shooters in the league, Thompson outscores his backcourt brother by a final score of 27-23. For the second year in a row, Golden State represents the final two shooters in the contest, with all other competitors simply staring in awe. Really, these two could win every contest for the next decade if they wanted to.

Despite Green’s unfortunate finish in the Skills Challenge, Curry and Thompson picked up the slack in another duel of the two best in the league in that regard. Maybe Curry just needed a defender on him? Curry was the favorite but Thompson was the sharps pick, and the starting shooting guard for the 48-4 Warriors has another trophy to add to his mantle.

Do you believe him?

Teammates say…

Yessir @KlayThompson 👌🏾👌🏾

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The finisher:

The dunk contest ended almost one hour ago and I’m still not sure what I witnessed.

Overlooking the fact that Will Barton and Andre Drummond were in the building competing in the same contest, this was the best dunk contest I’ve ever seen. Witnessing the last four contests and watching every one, I can’t remember a duel of such perfection. LaVine shocked everyone with his flawless dunks last season, prompting him to be the heavy favorite given his history. San Jose’s own Aaron Gordon had something to say about that right when he touched the ball for the first time.

Sure, Gordon used mascots and LaVine used Drake — some think they’re one in the same — but that shouldn’t take away from the magnitude of their performances. Gordon’s dunks over the mascots was the most incredible display of height and creativity I’ve ever seen. On the other end, LaVine can simply soar and has the body type to make any single dunk imaginable. His between-the-legs dunk from the free-throw line would normally be the highlight of any contest, but it wasn’t the best dunk of the evening.
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Gordon should’ve won the contest, but even LaVine admitted following the contest that it should’ve been a tie. The performances were simply that great. Here’s to another contest between both, with LaVine’s teammate Andrew Wiggins hopefully joining the fray. Either way, these guys had Air Canada Centre rocking, and it doesn’t get much better than that.