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The highs and lows of the rising stars challenge

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Bogdanovic shows off his range with long 3-pointer (0:23)

Bogdan Bogdanovic drives past half court, pulls up from way downtown and knocks down the 3-pointer. (0:23)

For the third time in four years with this format, the World Team beat Team USA in the Rising Stars Challenge, earning a resounding 155-124 victory in Los Angeles. The final margin was the second-largest ever in this game, behind only the Sophomores' win over the Rookies in 2007.

World Team


Bogdan Bogdanovic
Kings (Serbia)
Guard | Grade: B

Game stats
26 PTS | 6 AST | 7-13 3-PT FG

Analysis
From a performance standpoint, Bogdanovic won MVP honors by knocking down seven 3-pointers en route to 26 points and six assists. However, Bogdanovic didn't seem to get the idea of an all-star game. He stopped a fast break by committing a Eurofoul -- infuriating enough even when the game counts -- and was booed by the crowd when he tried to dribble out the clock before being stripped by Donovan Mitchell. This grade considers both basketball and entertainment.


Dillon Brooks
Grizzlies (Canada)
Forward | Grade: C

Game stats
11 PTS | 5 REB | 2 AST

Analysis
An all-star format isn't ideally suited for Brooks' game, based on tough defense. He shot just 1-of-5 from beyond the arc, including an air ball.


Joel Embiid
76ers (Cameroon)
Forward | Grade: B

Game stats
5 PTS | 2 REB | 9 MIN

Analysis
Embiid is the only player in the Rising Stars Game who will also be playing in Sunday's All-Star Game, so he saw just nine minutes of action. Embiid did find time to deliver one of the night's most impressive highlights, a drive from the 3-point line in which he spun past a defender to finish with a dunk.


Buddy Hield
Kings (Bahamas)
Guard | Grade: B-plus

Game stats
29 PTS | 3 AST | 2 STL

Analysis
Nobody had to encourage Hield to let it fly from 3-point range, as he attempted 14 triples in 25 minutes, making five of them. Hield had more success inside the arc, making 7 of 8 2-pointers as he scored a team-high 29 points.


Lauri Markkanen
Bulls (Finland)
Forward | Grade: B-plus

Game stats
15 PTS | 6 REB | 7-11 FG

Analysis
Markkanen's shooting touch was evident on Friday, though he made just 1 of 4 3-point attempts. He hit a pull-up jumper over the smaller De'Aaron Fox and finished 6-of-7 on 2s.


Jamal Murray
Nuggets (Canada)
Guard | Grade: A-minus

Game stats
21 PTS | 6 REB | 7 AST

Analysis
Last year's MVP wasn't as spectacular in his second Rising Stars appearance but was solid nonetheless, accumulating 21 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Murray got a chance to show off his trademark bow-and-arrow celebration on three 3-pointers.


Frank Ntilikina
Knicks (Belgium)
Guard | Grade: B

Game stats
6 PTS | 5 AST | 3 STL

Analysis
Given more opportunity to play point guard than he typically gets with the Knicks, Ntilikina handed out five assists in 18 minutes and showed his defensive potential with three steals.


Domantas Sabonis
Pacers (Lithuania)
Center | Grade: A

Game stats
13 PTS | 11 REB | 6-6 FG

Analysis
Sabonis did the dirty work in an exhibition, scoring a pair of putbacks while going a perfect 6-of-6 from the field. One was particularly impressive, as Sabonis tracked down a loose ball -- one of his 11 rebounds -- on the perimeter and then drove for a three-point play.


Dario Saric
76ers (Croatia)
Forward | Grade: A-minus

Game stats
18 PTS | 5 AST | 4-7 3-PT FG

Analysis
Serving mostly as a floor spacer, Saric knocked down four 3-pointers in seven attempts. He also handed out five assists in a solid effort.


Ben Simmons
76ers (Australia)
Guard | Grade: A

Game stats
11 PTS | 13 AST | 4 STL

Analysis
Simmons, whose six triple-doubles this season are one shy of Magic Johnson's rookie record, couldn't get the necessary rebounds tonight. He finished with six boards. Still, Simmons handed out 13 assists and made all five of his shot attempts in a strong performance.

Team USA


Jaylen Brown
Celtics | Guard
Grade: A

Game stats
35 PTS | 10 REB | 14-21 FG

Analysis
In a losing effort, Brown was the best player on the court Friday, scoring a game-high 35 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for a double-double. Half of Brown's 14 field goals were dunks, nearly all of them "with authority," in the words of PA announcer Eric Smith -- including a between-the-legs dunk in live action. Brown also made three triples, though he gets a slight demerit for taking too many long 2s for an exhibition game.


John Collins
Hawks | Forward
Grade: B

Game stats
11 PTS | 3 REB | 2 STL

Analysis
Quietly one of the NBA's most effective rookies this season, Collins appeared to not get the memo that you're not supposed to play defense in the Rising Stars Challenge. He attempted to protect the rim as a help defender. Collins had less success finishing alley-oop dunks -- both from teammates and himself -- before finishing one from Donovan Mitchell in the late stages.


Kris Dunn
Bulls | Guard
Grade: B

Game stats
9 PTS | 5 AST | 3 STL

Analysis
After supplying immediate scoring punch with seven points off the bench in the first quarter, Dunn made just one field goal the rest of the game. He did hand out five assists and come up with three steals.


De'Aaron Fox
Kings | Guard
Grade: B-minus

Game stats
4 PTS | 2 REB | 2 AST

Analysis
Replacing injured hometown star Lonzo Ball, Fox had a relatively quiet game. His best move, in which he went behind his back, ended in a missed shot. Fox did put down an impressive windmill layup in traffic.


Brandon Ingram
Lakers | Forward
Grade: B

Game stats
8 PTS | 3 REB | 1 AST

Analysis
Seeing limited action coming off back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday, Ingram had a rare defensive highlight when he stripped Murray clean to start a fast break. He also finished an alley-oop from Mitchell among his eight points in 12 minutes.


Kyle Kuzma
Lakers | Forward
Grade: B-plus

Game stats
20 PTS | 7 REB | 2 AST

Analysis
It was an up-and-down game for the Lakers rookie -- fans weren't booing, but rather yelling, "Kuuuz." Kuzma caught fire at the start of the fourth quarter, scoring all 13 of the U.S. team's points over a 2:12 stretch starting with the last play of the third. Outside of that period, however, Kuzma missed nine of his 12 shot attempts, as he wasn't hesitant to fire. There were still plenty of highlights, including a 29-foot 3 to beat the first-quarter buzzer, a fastball alley-oop to Brown and a play in which Kuzma crossed Sabonis and nailed a pull-up jumper.


Donovan Mitchell
Jazz | Guard
Grade: B-plus

Game stats
7 PTS | 7 AST | 5 STL

Analysis
Mitchell got the spirit of the Rising Stars Challenge, attempting to deliver fans highlight plays with regular alley-oop attempts and an alley-oop to himself off the glass. Mitchell handed out seven assists and had a game-high five steals but missed 5 of 6 3-point attempts and bricked a late dunk off the backboard. Hopefully, he'll be more accurate Saturday as a slam-dunk competitor.


Taurean Prince
Hawks | Forward
Grade: B

Game stats
8 PTS | 2 REB | 2 AST

Analysis
Prince's 3-and-D game didn't really translate in an exhibition setting, with a corner 3 as a highlight of his workmanlike effort.


Dennis Smith Jr.
Mavericks | Guard
Grade: B-minus

Game stats
7 PTS | 4 REB | 6 AST

Analysis
Like Mitchell, Smith was more focused on setting up teammates with alley-oops than scoring himself. He also struggled from 3-point range and missed an attempted 360 dunk in the final seconds as he warmed up for the dunk contest. But Smith did hand out six assists.


Jayson Tatum
Celtics | Forward
Grade: B-plus

Game stats
15 PTS | 4 REB | 2 AST

Analysis
Tatum made his seven field goals count. There were multiple dunks, including a windmill, and a trick shot in which he scored a reverse with his back to the basket.