Kessler, Team Deron Eliminated From NBA Rising Stars Game
SALT LAKE CITY – Walker Kessler and Team Deron didn’t last long in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Friday night.
Kessler scored two points, grabbed one rebound, and blocked two shots, but his team was blown out 40-25 in the opening round of the four-team tournament.
The Jazz rookie started the game and received a warm welcome from Jazz fans, but Team Deron, coached by former Jazzman Deron Williams was no match for Team Pau, led by former All-Star Pau Gasol.
A huge welcome from fans at the Rising Stars Challenge for @utahjazz rookie Walker Kessler!#NBAAllStar | #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/iHhnLtNgJK
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) February 18, 2023
New Orleans Pelicans sophomore guard Jose Alvarado dominated the game for Team Pau, at one point scoring nine straight points and handing out a nifty assist for the highlight of the game.
Alvarado finished with 13 points on 6-10 shooting to go with an assist, a steal, and a rebound.
Team Deron was led by Pelicans forward Trey Murphy III who wowed fans with a dunk contest preview throwing down several impressive jams.
TREY MURPHY III. #ATTSlamDunk PREVIEW. 😱#JordanRisingStars | Live on TNT pic.twitter.com/eDQQGIfJFv
— NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2023
Murphy III will compete with Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr., Philadelphia 76ers Mac McClung, and New York Knicks big man Jericho Sims during Saturday’s dunk contest.
Kessler meanwhile will join Jazz teammates Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson in the NBA Skills Challenge.
Kessler Off To Hot Start With Jazz
Walker Kessler has had a terrific rookie year with the Jazz after being acquired in the Rudy Gobert blockbuster trade last offseason.
The Auburn product is averaging 8.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.
Home crowd ❤️ for @WalkerKessler13!#TakeNote pic.twitter.com/9RfVvfLszu
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 18, 2023
Kessler moved into the Jazz starting lineup on January 10th and has solidified his status as one of the best young bigs in the league.
Since moving into the starting spot Kessler is averaging an 11.4 point, 10.3 rebound double-double on 70 percent shooting from the floor.
All-Star Weekened Broadcast Schedule
6 p.m. MT: State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on TNT
- KIA Skills Challenge
- Starry 3-Point Contest
- AT&T Slam Dunk Contest
Location: Vivint Arena
5:30 p.m. MT: All-Star Draft Presented by Jordan Brand on TNT
6:30 p.m. MT: 72nd NBA All-Star Game on TNT
Location: Vivint Arena
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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.
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