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All-Stars Paul, Young among NBA HORSE Challenge shooters

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New York (AFP)

NBA All-Stars Chris Paul and Trae Young and past NBA Finals Most Valuable Players Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce will participate in the NBA HORSE Challenge, the league announced Thursday.

The eight-player event based on a traditional basketball playground game starts Sunday with $200,000 being donated to charities focused on relief efforts for the coronavirus pandemic that forced the NBA to shut down the season last month.

Players will compete in the single-elimination tournament from courts at their respective homes as they continue to isolate to slow the spread of the deadly virus outbreak.

Other participants include Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr., three-time Women's NBA All-Star Allie Quigley and 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings.

Sunday's winners advance to next Thursday's semi-finals with the championship matchup later that day in the event, which is backed by the players union and will be televised on ESPN.

Sunday's quarter-final matchups will send Young against Billups and Conley against Catchings to determine one semi-final pairing.

The other quarter-finals send Pierce against LaVine and Paul against Quigley for the other semi-final berths.

HORSE is a shooting exercise game in which players must describe the shot they will attempt before making it, with dunks prohibited. If a shot is made, a rival must duplicate the move successfully or receive a letter toward spelling out "H-O-R-S-E."

The first to fail to match five shots spells out the word and loses.

Paul, a 10-time NBA All-Star, was averaging 17.7 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder while Young averaged 29.6 points for the Atlanta Hawks.

Pierce played 19 NBA seasons before retiring in 2017, winning his only league title with Boston in 2008 while Billups had 17 campaigns and won his only NBA title with Detroit in 2004.

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