Cade Cunningham Wins MVP, Leads Team Barry to 2022 Rising Stars Challenge Win

Cade Cunningham Wins MVP, Leads Team Barry to 2022 Rising Stars Challenge Win

AP Photo/Ron Schwane

Cade Cunningham won the Rising Stars Challenge MVP award en route to leading Team Barry to the title at the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend festivities in Cleveland on Friday.

Hoop Central @TheHoopCentral

Cade Cunningham Rising Stars MVP. ⭐️🏆

(📸 @TrashTalk_fr) pic.twitter.com/Fx8YJIxuOT

The Rising Stars Challenge shifted to a new format in 2022. Instead of two teams facing off in one game, a group of NBA sophomores, rookies and G League Ignite players was split into four teams for a single-elimination tournament. In the end, Team Barry reigned supreme after beating Team Payton in the semis and Team Isiah in the final.

As one might imagine, each of those teams was led by a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer. In the semifinals, Gary Payton’s team took on Rick Barry’s squad, and Isiah Thomas’ group faced off against James Worthy’s young stars.

None of the games were timed. Instead, teams aimed for a 50-point target score in the semifinals and 25 points in the final.

Both semifinals were nail-biters. Team Isiah beat Team Worthy 50-49 after Desmond Bane made a game-winning free throw. Jae’Sean Tate’s layup in the second semi gave Team Barry the 50-48 win over Team Payton.

Team Barry won the final round 25-20. Cunningham, Evan Mobley and Tate all pitched in five points to lead the way. Precious Achiuwa’s 12 points guided Team Isiah.

Cunningham took over late. He found Tate on a lob, and the Rockets forward ended up getting the hoop and the harm en route to the three-point play and a 20-18 edge:

NBA @NBA

JAE’SEAN. AND-1.

Team Barry 20, Team Isiah 18…first to 25 wins #CloroxRisingStars on TNT pic.twitter.com/uQVJ1qjsc6

The two teams were tied at 20 late before the G League Ignite’s Dyson Daniels hit a free throw to give Team Barry a 21-20 lead. Two possessions later, a Tate steal led to the biggest bucket of the game when Cunningham drilled a three for a 24-20 advantage.

NBA @NBA

Cold. Blooded. Cade.

After 13 points in Game 1…Cade Cunningham knocks down the clutch triple to bring Team Barry to within 1 point of winning #CloroxRisingStars on TNT! pic.twitter.com/mgNpEk7THo

Cunningham then got a steal on the other end, leading to a Franz Wagner free throw for the victory.

NBA @NBA

Franz Wagner’s #CloroxClutch free throw completes a 13-2 closing run for Team Barry…they are your #CloroxRisingStars champions! pic.twitter.com/ZaeGknZ5MC

The Pistons rookie also showed out in the semis with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds.

All-Star Weekend will continue Saturday. The schedule consists of a morning All-Star practice and an NBA x HBCU Classic men’s basketball matinee between Morgan State and Howard University.

At night, the skills challenge, three-point contest and slam-dunk competition will go down.

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