2010 NBA All-Star Game - All-Star Weekend - Rookie Challenge

Rookie Challenge

The T-Mobile Rookie Challenge featured a team of standout first-year players ('Rookies') against a team of standout second-year players ('Sophomores'). The game was divided into two twenty-minute halves, similar to college basketball. The participating players were chosen by voting among the league's assistant coaches. The Rookie team included five of the top ten picks from the 2009 NBA Draft: Stephen Curry, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, James Harden and Brandon Jennings. The Sophomores team featured seven players from the previous Rookie Challenge game: Michael Beasley, Marc Gasol, Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez, O.J. Mayo, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. However, Rose was later replaced by Anthony Morrow due to Rose's selection to the Skills Challenge and the All-Star Game.

The head coaches for the Rookies and Sophomores teams were the lead assistants from the All-Star Game coaching staffs, Adrian Dantley from the Denver Nuggets and Patrick Ewing from the Orlando Magic. They were assisted by two All-Stars who served as assistant coach, Kevin Durant and Chris Bosh. Durant participated in his third successive Rookie Challenge game, after playing as a rookie and sophomore in the last two years. Bosh, a Dallas native, returned to his hometown where he grew up and starred in high school basketball. Dantley and Durant coached the Rookie team while Ewing and Bosh coached the Sophomore team.

At halftime, Sophomore's Eric Gordon and rookie DeMar DeRozan competed in the inaugural NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In, a single-round slam dunk competition to determine the fourth participant of the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday. DeRozan, who was not part of the Rookie team, earned 61% of the fans vote to defeat Eric Gordon and won a spot to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest.

Rookies
Pos. Player Team
F/C DeJuan Blair San Antonio Spurs
F Omri Casspi Sacramento Kings
G Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
G Tyreke Evans Sacramento Kings
G Jonny Flynn Minnesota Timberwolves
F Taj Gibson Chicago Bulls
G James Harden Oklahoma City Thunder
G Brandon Jennings Milwaukee Bucks
F Jonas Jerebko Detroit Pistons
Head coach: Adrian Dantley (Denver Nuggets)
Assistant coach: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Sophomores
Pos. Player Team
F Michael Beasley Miami Heat
C Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies
F Danilo Gallinari New York Knicks
G Eric Gordon Los Angeles Clippers
C Brook Lopez New Jersey Nets
F/C Kevin Love Minnesota Timberwolves
G O. J. Mayo Memphis Grizzlies
G Anthony MorrowREP Golden State Warriors
G Derrick RoseDNP Chicago Bulls
G Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder
Head coach: Patrick Ewing (Orlando Magic)
Assistant coach: Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors)

^DNP Derrick Rose was excused from the Rookie Challenge in consideration of being named to the All-Star Game and his participation in the Skills Challenge.
^REP Anthony Morrow was named as a replacement for Derrick Rose.


February 12
Boxscore Rookies 140, Sophomores 128 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 19,200
Referees: * #67 John Goble
  • #65 Sean Wright
  • #60 David Guthrie
TNT
Scoring by half: 67–55, 73–73
Pts: Tyreke Evans 26
Rebs: DeJuan Blair 23
Asts: Brandon Jennings 8
Pts: Russell Westbrook 40
Rebs: Beasley, Lopez 7 each
Asts: O. J. Mayo 10

The Rookies won the game 140–128, ending the Sophomores' seven games win streak and winning the Rookie Challenge for the first time since 2002. Rookie's Tyreke Evans was named MVP; he had 26 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. DeJuan Blair scored 22 points and notched a record 23 rebounds, becoming the first player to have a 20–20 game in the Rookie Challenge. Sophomore's Russell Westbrook had a game-high 40 points in a losing effort. It was the second time a player has reached the 40-point mark, since Kevin Durant had 46 points last year. The Rookies were up by 12 at halftime, the largest lead of the game. Westbrook, who had 11 points at halftime, took over and scored 29 points in the second half. But strong plays enabled the Rookies to keep the lead for the rest of the game.

Read more about this topic:  2010 NBA All-Star Game, All-Star Weekend

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