NEW ORLEANS -- The Bay Area had one bright spot: Portland guard Damian Lillard.

The Oakland native defended his title in the Skills Challenge during Saturday's festivities at All-Star weekend.

The new format paired players together, so Lillard and Utah rookie guard Trey Burke took the title.

"To be able to do it again and be the skills champ along with Trey, it was a great feeling," Lillard said.

Lillard is making history this weekend. He will be the first player to compete in five events during All-Star weekend. He also took part in the Three-Point Shootout and Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday. He lost his matchup in both events.

Friday, Lillard had 13 points, five assists and five rebounds in the Rookie Challenge. Sunday, he will come off the bench in the All-Star game. He said he'll definitely have enough energy for the grand finale.

"That's the ultimate goal, to become an All-Star when you come into the NBA and win championships," he said. "Being able to play in that game is big to me, and I'm excited about it."

  • San Antonio guard Marco Belinelli, a former Warrior, became the third international player to win the Three-Point Shootout, joining Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovic.


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    "For real, it's a dream come true," said Belinelli, whom the Warriors drafted No. 18 overall in 2007 and traded to Toronto two years later. "I remember when Larry Bird was in the Three-Point Contest, and he won again," Belinelli said. "And now I'm in the same place. I won the trophy. So it's just something tough to describe."

    Belinelli took advantage of the new format, which gave the players one rack with all money balls for 10 possible points. Each time, Belinelli made three of the five.

    In the final round, he made 11 of his last 14 to get 21. But Washington's Bradley Beal made four of his last five to force a tiebreaker.

    In the bonus round, Belinelli made 8 of 10 to run away with the title.

  • As soon as the cameras went away, and all the "it was fun" quotes were spewed, the competitive side of Dell Curry surfaced.

    "Can you believe that?" he asked, still shaking his head with a big grin on his face. "The worst part is we finished fourth."

    The former NBA three-point specialist was still flabbergasted it took him, Stephen Curry and WNBA sharpshooter Becky Hammon a minute, five seconds to make four shots in the Shooting Stars competition on Saturday.

    Hammon, from the baseline, and Dell Curry, from the top of the circle, knocked down the first two shots quickly. The Warriors' star guard, however, needed three attempts to make a 3-pointer from the right wing.

    With 12.4 seconds left, they headed for the half-court shot. It was Hammon -- not Stephen Curry, who hit three half-court shots in practice earlier Saturday -- who ended the suffering and finally hit the half-court shot on the trio's 16th attempt.

    The heavy favorites to win -- moments after TNT analyst Kenny Smith called the Curry's the best shooting family in NBA history -- bombed in their All-Star Weekend debut. And the elder Curry was still a bit shocked.

    And to top it off, to compound the bewilderment, Chris Bosh led his team -- which featured legend Dominique Wilkins and WNBA star Swin Cash -- to victory by shooting 66.7 percent from half court.

    "He went 2 for 3 from half court," Dell Curry said, still flashing his disbelief smile. "How about that?"

  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave his first state of the league address. He talked about his desire to increase the NBA age limit to 20 years, spread out the 82-game schedule over a longer period, alter the draft lottery and possibly put sponsorships on NBA jerseys.

    Follow Marcus Thompson II on Twitter at twitter.com/ThompsonScribe.