Jayson Tatum will defend his Skills Challenge title

Jayson Tatum will get a chance to become a back-to-back champion in the NBA All-Star Skills Competition. Barry Chin/globe staff

Jayson Tatum of the Celtics will defend his title in the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend, the NBA announced on Tuesday.

Tatum is averaging career highs of 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 steals in his third season. He’ll be joined in the competition on Feb. 15 by former champions Patrick Beverley of the Clippers, Spencer Dinwiddie of the Nets, and Derrick Rose of the Pistons. Rounding out the eight-man field will be Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis, and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam.

Last year, Tatum won the title when he connected on a jumper from beyond half court.


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In addition, the NBA announced Tuesday that the Bucks’ Pat Connaughton — who is from Arlington and went to St. John’s Prep — will be one of four participants in this year’s Slam Dunk contest, which will also be held on Feb. 15. Connaughton will be joined by Aaron Gordon of the Magic, Dwight Howard of the Lakers, and Derrick Jones of the Heat.

The 6-foot-5-inch Connaughton is averaging 4.4 points and 4.9 rebounds heading into Tuesday’s action.

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