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Grading every player in the Rising Stars Challenge

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Dunk party at Rising Stars Challenge highlighted by Collins (1:42)

John Collins, Marvin Bagley III and Ben Simmons highlight the best dunks from the 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge. (1:42)

Led by 35 points from Rising Stars MVP Kyle Kuzma, Team USA broke a two-year drought with a 161-144 win over Team World. So how did the league's best rookies and sophomores fare on the national stage? We've graded all 20 players.

More: Friday's best | Build your own All-Star team | Rosters and results

Team USA


Jarrett Allen
Brooklyn Nets
Center | Grade: C

Game stats
2 PTS | 5 REB | 2 BLK

Analysis
The disjointed nature of the Rising Stars game wasn't the best fit for Allen's skills. He missed both non-dunk shot attempts, air-balling a 3, and committed a pair of turnovers while trying to do too much with the ball. But Allen did swallow up a Josh Okogie attempt for one of his two blocks.


Marvin Bagley III
Sacramento Kings
Forward | Grade: B+

Game stats
14 PTS | 5 REB | 3 STL

Analysis
In the early going, Bagley's attempts to play seriously went poorly. He was more effective after he focused on dunking, coming up with a windmill and then making an uncontested 360 dunk in the final seconds.


John Collins
Atlanta Hawks
Forward | Grade: B+

Game stats
12 PTS | 6-7 FG | 2 REB

Analysis
Collins' athleticism was tailor-made for an exhibition like this. He delivered some of the night's best dunks, including a double-pump and a self-lob off the glass. He receives a slight demerit for committing a foul to stop a fast break after turning the ball over. There's no place for that in the Rising Stars Challenge.


De'Aaron Fox
Sacramento Kings
Guard | Grade: A

Game stats
2 PTS | 16 AST | 5 STL

Analysis
Playing the consummate point guard, Fox attempted just three shots in 23 minutes -- the second fewest of any player who took the court. Instead, Fox set up everyone else, recording 16 assists -- the third-highest total in Rising Stars history. He also tied for game-high honors with five steals, including stripping his Kings teammate Bogdan Bogdanovic.


Jaren Jackson Jr.
Memphis Grizzlies
Forward | Grade: B

Game stats
10 PTS | 6 REB | 1 STL

Analysis
The highlight of Jackson's night was back-to-back 3-pointers during the third quarter, one of them from 26 feet. A deep pull-up attempt proved a bit too audacious for Jackson, who also added a tip dunk.


Kevin Knox
New York Knicks
Forward | Grade: B-

Game stats
11 PTS | 2 REB | 1 AST

Analysis
An injury replacement for Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, Knox looked like he belonged with 11 points in 16 minutes, though he didn't contribute much else in the box score. Most impressive was his tip-in of an alley-oop lob by Trae Young that was below the rim by the time it got to Knox.


Kyle Kuzma
Los Angeles Lakers
Forward | Grade: A

Game stats
35 PTS | 15-27 FG | 6 REB

Analysis
Named MVP after scoring a game-high 35 points, Kuzma was particularly hot early. He had 23 of his 35 points and all three of his 3-pointers before halftime, including a deep step-back from long distance. Kuzma finished just 3-of-10 from beyond the arc but had an impressive windmill dunk.


Donovan Mitchell
Utah Jazz
Guard | Grade: A

Game stats
20 PTS | 7 REB | 9 AST

Analysis
Mitchell's passing was hit and miss -- in one case literally, as a lob from half court was so high it almost banked in and probably should have been scored as a shot rather than a turnover -- but he had nine assists in addition to his 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals.


Jayson Tatum
Boston Celtics
Forward | Grade: A

Game stats
30 PTS | 12-24 FG | 9 REB

Analysis
Occasionally, Tatum has a tendency to settle for too many midrange jumpers in games that count. In this setting, he let fly from 3, attempting a game-high 14 and making six of them en route to 30 points. The last of them saw Tatum do an extended shoulder shake with no closeout coming before he finally knocked down the shot. Tatum's nine rebounds were a game high.


Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks
Guard | Grade: A

Game stats
25 PTS | 7 REB | 10 AST

Analysis
Also a worthy contender for MVP, Young threatened a triple-double with 25 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. He matched Tatum with six 3s in just 11 attempts and delivered perhaps the night's most memorable highlight when he nutmegged No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton for a layup. Remarkably, it was Young's second nutmeg of the night, though the first one resulted in the defense immediately fouling him.

Team World


OG Anunoby
Toronto Raptors (England)
Forward | Grade: B

Game stats
12 PTS | 6-8 FG | 2 REB

Analysis
Anunoby made six of his eight shot attempts, including tipping in an errant alley-oop he was unable to dunk. Unfortunately, his most memorable play was badly overthrowing a pass from the corner back to the top of the key, leading to a runout in the other direction.


Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns (Bahamas)
Center | Grade: B+

Game stats
15 PTS | 8 REB | 5 AST

Analysis
Surprisingly, Ayton's best contribution in the Rising Stars game was probably his passing. He had five assists, including a long outlet pass for an Okogie dunk and an alley-oop to Anunoby. Ayton also had a reverse tip dunk for two of his 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting.


Bogdan Bogdanovic
Sacramento Kings (Serbia)
Guard | Grade: B

Game stats
15 PTS | 5 REB | 6 AST

Analysis
All 11 of Bogdanovic's shot attempts were 3s, and he made five of them for efficient scoring. Bogdanovic also had six assists, but tied for the game high with four turnovers.


Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks (Slovenia)
Forward | Grade: B-

Game stats
13 PTS | 5 REB | 9 AST

Analysis
The leading contender for Rookie of the Year wasn't at his best in the Rising Stars Challenge despite his nine assists, including alley-oops to Ayton and Lauri Markkanen. He flubbed a layup in the early going and shot just 3-of-9 from 3-point range, highlighted by a step-back 3 to start the second half.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
LA Clippers (Canada)
Guard | Grade: B

Game stats
15 PTS | 6 AST | 3 STL

Analysis
Rarely flashy, Gilgeous-Alexander was effective nonetheless with 15 points and six assists in 20 minutes. His best pass was a drop-off to Ayton for a finish and a foul.


Rodions Kurucs
Brooklyn Nets (Latvia)
Forward | Grade: C

Game stats
10 PTS | 4 REB | 5 AST

Analysis
The grading committee of one wasn't impressed by Kurucs holding on to the ball rather than shooting from beyond half court at the first-quarter buzzer. That's bad enough in a regular-season game, but at least justifiable given the hit to a player's shooting percentage. That shouldn't matter in an exhibition. On the plus side, Kurucs had five assists in 15 minutes, including an alley-oop lob to Ben Simmons.


Lauri Markkanen
Chicago Bulls (Finland)
Forward | Grade: B

Game stats
21 PTS | 6 REB | 2 AST

Analysis
Markkanen needed 17 shots to score 21 points, going just 6-of-10 inside the arc. He did knock down three triples, as well as a windmill dunk.


Josh Okogie
Minnesota Timberwolves (Nigeria)
Guard | Grade: B

Game stats
13 PTS | 4 REB | 4 AST

Analysis
With All-Star teammate Karl-Anthony Towns rocking his jersey courtside, Okogie scored 13 points in 19 minutes -- a total that would tie his seventh highest in a game this season. Okogie got way up for a tip dunk that was one of the game's best and had a reverse finish through contact for an and-1, but air-balled one of his two 3-point attempts -- both misses.


Cedi Osman
Cleveland Cavaliers (Turkey)
Forward | Grade: C-

Game stats
2 PTS | 3 REB | 4 AST

Analysis
Playing a team-low 15 minutes, Osman missed all five of his 3-point attempts -- one of them an air ball. He shined more as a passer, going off the backboard to set up a Simmons score and having four assists altogether.


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

Game stats
28 PTS | 14-17 FG | 6 AST

Analysis
Had his team managed to win, Simmons would have been an easy choice as MVP. He made 14 of his 17 shot attempts (yes, all 2s) to score a team-high 28 points in just 21 minutes of action. Simmons also had six assists, including two dimes to Markkanen -- a drop pass in transition and an alley-oop lob from half court. Simmons' best score was a trademark right-hand runner going left away from the basket in the open court.