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Zach LaVine loses to Mike Conley Jr. in NBA HORSE Challenge championship

Zach LaVine beat Allie Quigley in the semifinals of the NBA HORSE Challenge.

Zach LaVine beat Allie Quigley in the semifinals of the NBA HORSE Challenge.
Zach LaVine beat Allie Quigley in the semifinals of the NBA HORSE Challenge.
AP Photos

Thursday night was the battle of the sexes for Chicago basketball, with the Sky’s Allie Quigley facing off against the Bulls’ Zach LaVine in the semifinals of the NBA HORSE Challenge on ESPN.

Dunking might not have been allowed in this competition, but that didn’t stop LaVine — who lost to Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr. in the finals — from using his athleticism and craftiness to his advantage.

After several moves that were borderline dunks, including a between-the-legs layup, Quigley called LaVine out for not shooting the ball.

“Aren’t you a good shooter?” said Quigley, a two-time WNBA three-point champion. “You made like 10 threes [in a game] this year — just shoot.”

“Hey, I made 13,” LaVine said.

When LaVine missed a 360-layup, Quigley responded: “Thank God.”

Quigley’s pure shooting abilities kept her in the game — she even led by one letter — but LaVine’s trickery prevailed.

The Bulls star guard ultimately put the match away with an off-the-backboard, reverse layup, turnaround jumper and off-the-backboard, in-between-the-legs layup.

Even host Mark Jones told LaVine his last move against Quigley was “almost unfair.”

Ultimately, though, LaVine’s bag of tricks ran short against Conley.

Conley, in his personal indoor gym, made an under-the-backboard shot that LaVine — shooting in the pouring rain — couldn’t answer. It was the same shot Conley used to beat 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings in the quarterfinals.

Despite the loss, LaVine had a positive message for fans watching.

“Everyone just stay safe and stay strong,” LaVine said.