It was a dream matchup for Atlanta Hawks fans ... or anyone else who gets a kick out of apples-to-apples comparisons involving potential superstars.

For the first event of All-Star Saturday, Trae Young and Luka Doncic squared off in the semifinal round of the NBA Skills Challenge.

What made this meeting so fascinating?

Well, the Hawks took a major risk last June by drafting and then trading Doncic to Dallas, in return for the rights to Young and the Mavericks' first-round pick next year.

By all accounts, Young has enjoyed a strong start to his career, averaging 17 points and 7.6 assists per game. 

However, the numbers could not match the red-hot start for Doncic, who holds elite-level averages of 20.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists.

On top of that, Doncic has already drawn comparisons to some of the NBA's greatest players right now, a once-in-a-decade talent who could transform the Mavericks to great heights for the next 10 years.

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That's the long-range rationale. In the short term, aka Saturday night ... Young emerged as the winner.

The Oklahoma product rallied to knock off De'Aaron Fox in Round 1, and then raced past Doncic in Round 2.

The finals were a different story: Instead of having a slow start versus Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Young was seemingly in control from the get-go.

First to the passing rack.

First to the layup drill.

First to attempt the match-winning three-pointer.

But everything changed for the worse seconds later ... after Tatum buried his desperation heave from halfcourt, which should easily go down as the greatest ending in Skills Challenge history.

Here are the clips for all three rounds of Young's hectic journey: