Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley (Group 2) put up another good fight in the the first-ever NBA HORSE Challenge, this time in the semifinals on Thursday night. Despite her valiant effort, Quigley fell to Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls on an off-the-backboard, between-the-legs, mid-air layup.
Quigley was given consecutive letters on LaVine’s last three shots, with the R coming on an off-the-backboard, reverse layup and the S coming on a 180-degree jump, free-throw shot.
The three time All-Star and top 3-Point Contest scorer in NBA or WNBA history had given herself a one-letter lead (HO to HOR) on a behind-the-backboard shot but lost possession on her next turn when she missed a mid-range look after a step-back dribble. Had she made that shot, Quigley very easily could have closed things out and won.
LaVine started the round with possession and went straight to a difficult layup. Quigley, however, successfully completed a hop on one foot from the free-throw line and made the underhanded shot to equal LaVine.
The Bulls’ star’s next shot was a reverse layup and it gave Quigley an H. The WNBA All-Star tied the game H-to-H shortly thereafter on a deep two from the left elbow that started with a fancy hop to her left.
Quigley received an O when she couldn’t convert a controversial nothing-but-net floater that was much easier for the taller LaVine, and questionably close to being a dunk. Yet, she bounced back with a mid-range bank shot from a sitting position, which gave LaVine an O of his own.
In the Group 1 semifinal, Mike Conley, Jr. of the Utah Jazz defeated NBA legend Chauncey Billups using his creativity and ability to shoot well with his non-dominant right hand. Those same skills propelled him to victory over LaVine in the final round, making Conley the first-ever NBA HORSE Challenge champion.
Quigley’s teammate and wife, Courtney Vandersloot, captured the Group 2 matchup on her phone and got to talk a bit about her point guard/shooting guard relationship with Quigley:
Is their familiarity with each other on and off the court, and the trust between them, at the root of their backcourt superpowers?