RJ Barrett scored a game-high 27 points in Friday's NBA Rising Stars Challenge, and said after the game he wasn't holding back just because it was an exhibition.
"I guess it's an All-Star game but I really only know how to play one way," Barrett said. "But it was a lot of fun. I didn't press too much. I just went out there and had fun. I took some opportunities when I could and tried to make some nice passes, too."
Barrett was all over the floor, adding six rebounds, five assists and three steals to go along with his 27 points. Though defense wasn't exactly a focal point in the 151-131 Team USA victory, Barrett wasn't going to allow his college teammate at Duke, Zion Williamson, to upstage him.
After Barrett missed a three-pointer in the first half, Williamson had a chance to throw down an alley-oop on the ensuing possession. But Barrett wouldn't allow it, holding down the 2019 No. 1 overall pick to prevent him from leaping for the dunk.
"So right before that, I shot a 3 in the corner,'' Barrett said. "I don't even know if it was [Zion], but somebody on the court was talking trash and then I missed it. So when I saw him running, I was like, nah, he's not about to dunk it. "
Williamson finished the game with 14 points, including a dunk on the very next Team USA possession.
"When he stopped me on that fastbreak, I was kind of like, man, you're the last person I thought that would do that, but he let me get the next one," Williamson said. "It's just brothers messing around."