Creative Conley beats Lavine to nail NBA HORSE Challenge title

Delfin Dioquino

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Creative Conley beats Lavine to nail NBA HORSE Challenge title
Mike Conley takes advantage of his ambidexterity to dominate the significantly athletic Zach Lavine

MANILA, Philippines – Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley saved the best for last to beat Chicago Bulls star Zach Lavine and rule the NBA HORSE Challenge on Thursday, April 16 in the US (Friday, April 17, Manila time). 

Conley, who shoots jumpers with his left hand but also uses his right hand for dribbling and other shots effectively, took advantage of his ambidexterity to dominate the significantly athletic Lavine. 

HORSE is a game between two or more players, with the first player making a shot in a particular way of their choosing and the succeeding players having to repeat the basket exactly as it was executed.

If a player fails to duplicate the shot, they gain a letter starting with “H” and will be declared the loser if they complete the word “HORSE.”

Conley gained an early lead by sinking an over-the-back shot off the glass and a free throw with his dominant hand with his eyes closed. 

Lavine, though, narrowed the gap to 2-3 as he nailed a tap board reverse layup and a three-pointer from the top of the key off the glass.

But just as Lavine was staging a comeback for the $200,000 that will be donated in support of coronavirus relief efforts, Conley pulled a few tricks up his sleeves. 

Conley got Lavine to H-O-R-S by spinning the ball and punching it to the hoop off the glass before wrapping up his win with a right-handed over-the-backboard layup. 

Earlier, Conley toppled retired NBA champion Chauncey Billups in the semifinals, while Lavine defeated WNBA veteran Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky to punch his ticket to the finals.

The NBA has suspended its season for a month now due to the coronavirus crisis but it has managed to provide fans basketball action through the NBA 2K Players Tournament and the HORSE Challenge. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.