If you’re trying to unlock new balls in NBA Playgrounds, you have to complete every challenge as you play through a tournament. Tournament challenges in NBA Playgrounds consist of performing certain feats during the game. For example, you might have to steal the ball three times or perform two blocks in a game. This article offers tips to help you complete tournament challenges in NBA Playgrounds so you can unlock new game balls.

Before we get started, it should be noted that you do not have to win the game to complete a challenge. Once the challenge is completed, you can still lose the game and be fine. You’ll need to win eventually to unlock a new game ball, but the challenge is considered completed whether you win the game or not. You can pick two players that can quickly complete the challenge, lose the game, then select players you’ll have a better chance of winning with. And if you're looking for more general tips, we've got you covered there as well.

Blocking Shots and Dunks

Any challenges that require you to block shots, dunks or alley-oops can be very difficult given how blocking works in NBA Playgrounds. If you have trouble performing blocks, the easiest way to complete this challenge is to pick at least one player with a high block stat, then let that player defend alone. Select the other player and stay on your side of the court, while the computer controls the player with a high block stat as the sole defender.

Using this strategy some shots will get through, but the AI-controlled player will go for blocks far more often, allowing you to complete the challenge much easier. In addition, if he grabs a rebound or a loose ball after a block, your player is already by the hoop. A quick pass and you’ve got an easy score on the other end of the court.

Score Consecutive Shots

Challenges that require you to score consecutive shots are more about racing against the clock than anything else. It should be noted that anything listed as “two-pointer” does not include dunks. If you dunk the ball, while you generally get two points for it, these challenges require you to make a normal shot inside of the three-point line for it to count.

To make this challenge easier, pick two players who have a high stat in whatever the challenge calls for. If you need to score 10 consecutive three-pointers, pick two characters that have a high three-point rating, but that also have a high steal rating. This allows you to pressure the opposing team on defense and get a lot more steals so you can get right back on offense. This also gives you more time to complete the challenge.

If you need to score consecutive three-pointers, any player with a high three-point stat can make shots from almost any distance with ease. As long as you’re on your side of the court, square up to the hoop and shoot. If you timing is good, there’s a high probability it will go in. You don’t need to be right on the three-point line to hit these shots.

Activate Lottery Picks

If you haven’t checked out our general tips article, “activate Lottery Picks” just means filling up your power-up bar. If the challenge requires you to activate Lottery Picks three times in a match, all that means is that you need to fill up the power-up bar three times. The fastest way to do this is by landing alley-oops, but dunks will also fill up your Lottery Picks bar quickly.

Spectacular Dunks

A lot of people have been confused about the term, “spectacular dunks” and exactly what this means. For the most part, if you select a player with a relatively high dunk rating (7 or above), hold the Sprint button and then shoot the ball from inside the three-point line. More often than not you’ll get a spectacular dunk and should have no trouble completing this challenge.

Backcourt Shots

Arguably the hardest challenge in tournaments mode is when you’re required to hit backcourt shots. First off, select a player with a 9 or 10 rating in three-pointers. Someone like Dell Curry, Dirk Nowitzki, Stephen Curry or John Stockton work very well. These players give you the highest chance of hitting a shot from the backcourt.

You also want to make sure you’re as close to the half-court line as possible and square up to the basket so you don’t get a leaning shot. It can be difficult to avoid a leaning shot, but if you run up to the half-court line, stop and let the player come to a complete stand still, then shoot, you’ll have a good chance of shooting normally instead of getting an off-balance shot. This will also increase your chances of scoring.

Tournament Challenges

Las Vegas

  • Final - Score at least two baskets from your backcourt in one game.
  • Semi - Score 12 consecutive three-pointers in one game.
  • 4th - Perform 15 steals in one game.
  • 8th - Perform 10 consecutive spectacular dunks in one game.


  • Final - Score at least one basket from your backcourt.
  • Semi - Perform at least two blocks against a dunk or alley-oop.
  • 4th - Score 10 consecutive two-pointers in one game.
  • 8th - Score 10 consecutive three-pointers in one game.

New York

  • Final - Perform one alley-oop in a game.
  • Semi - Perform two steals in one game.
  • 4th - Perform one block in a game.
  • 8th - Score two three-pointers in one game.


  • Final - Score seven three-pointers in one game.
  • Semi - Perform three blocks in one game.
  • 4th - Score 20 points using only two-pointers in one game.
  • 8th - Perform at least one block against a dunk or alley-oop.


  • Final - Perform four alley-oops in one game.
  • Semi - Perform seven steals in one game.
  • 4th - Perform six blocks in one game.
  • 8th - Activate Lottery Picks three times in one game.


  • Final - Activate Lottery Picks three times in one game.
  • Semi - Perform two blocks in one game.
  • 4th - Perform four spectacular dunks in one game.
  • 8th - Score three three-pointers in one game.

We’ve also got more general tips if that’s what you’re looking for, or you can find more strategies and advice in our NBA Playgrounds game hub!