Wed, 08 Apr 2020

All-Star Saturday: Jones works OT to out-dunk Gordon

Field Level Media
16 Feb 2020, 14:05 GMT+10

CHICAGO -- Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. won a Slam Dunk Contest that required overtime with two extra rounds, edging Orlando Magic big man Aaron Gordon in a six-dunk display.

Jones won by a single point on his birthday Saturday night.

"It was great, a great competition," Jones said.Using 7-foot-5 Celtics center Tacko Fall as a prop just in front of the rim, Gordon bounced off of two feet and over Fall for a two-handed walkoff slam. It was good for only a 47, the first non-perfect mark for Gordon.

Jones ran from the opposite 3-point line and jumped from 13 feet and banged in a lefty dunk for his one-point win.

To start the first dunk off, Jones caught the ball off the side of the backboard and moved the ball from his right hand to his left and under his left leg before throwing it in.

Gordon followed with another 50, his fifth of the night, with his own rendition of the around-the-leg windmill.

Gordon's fourth dunk of the night was a perfect score and brought the stadium to a fever pitch. He received a 50 for a wicked power dunk grabbing an assist from teammate Markelle Fultz off the side of the backboard.

Jones scored 50, taking the ball from a helper on a bounce off the backboard, under his leg and through.

Jones cleared two men who were facing the basket, took the ball back while elevating, put it under his left leg and crammed it in with an authoritative left hand.

Gordon, using Chance The Rapper to hold the ball, pulled the ball from his helper's hands and locked down his third perfect 50 in three tries.

Gordon nailed a perfect 50 -- 10s from all five judges -- with the fourth and final dunk of the first round. He matched it with his second slam -- plucking the ball from the hands of Chance The Rapper while jumping over him and moving from one sideline toward the other, spinning his body back to the basket in midair to finish the slam.

Jones followed up a miss and a birthday serenade from the United Center crowd to score 46 points for his first dunk. Jones positioned teammate Bam Adebayo inside the elbow and leapt over him for a slam.

His second dunk appeared to defy gravity and brought all of the judges to their feet. Jones scored 50 with a looping 360-degree dunk, passing the ball under his leg before whipping it through with his left hand.

The Milwaukee Bucks' Pat Connaughton, not in uniform but outfitted to resemble the Woody Harrelson character in the film "White Men Can't Jump," brought Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich on the court.

Connaughton scored 45 for grabbing the ball from Yelich's shoulder blades while bounding over Yelich and emphatically finishing the dunk. The crowd erupted in boos at the resulting score of 45.

On his second try, Connaughton positioned Giannis Antetokounmpo at the cargo circle in the lane. Connaughton ran full speed and grabbed the ball from Antetokounmpo, tapped the backboard and crammed home a two-handed flush for a perfect 50.

Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers went first and received 41 thanks to eights by four judges and a nine from Scottie Pippen. Howard recreated his 2008 Superman dunk with a red cape and blue undershirt with the superhero logo covered by number 24. He took a lob from Jameer Nelson, who was standing out of bounds behind the backboard, for a 49.

--Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield won the 3-Point Contest at NBA All-Star Saturday night by making his 54th try of the night.

Hield splashed a "moneyball" for a one-point win over Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, who won the event in 2018.

Booker had 20 points in the finals when he reached his final rack -- two-point moneyballs in the corner -- and canned three of his five tries to get to 26 points.

Hield and Booker tied in the first round.

The top three scorers in the eight-man field advanced: Booker, a late sub for Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Hield scored 27 total points, and Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans had 26 in Round 1.

Bertans shot first in the final round and made 4 of 5 moneyball attempts, tallying 22 points.

The rules of the contest were changed this year. Each made 3-pointer was worth one point with a few exceptions.

Two stations and 10 seconds were added to the traditional five-rack setup, with the extra shots worth three points and 6 feet behind the NBA 3-point line on the floor at 29 feet, 9 inches. Contestants also have one rack of five basketballs that count double (two points) -- moneyballs -- they can set either in the corner, wing or top of the key.

The five players eliminated in the first round of shooting were defending champion Joe Harris (22) of the Brooklyn Nets, hometown rep Zach LaVine (23) of the Bulls, Heat forward Duncan Robinson (19), Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte' Graham (18) and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (15).

--Adebayo defeated Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis in the 2020 All-Star Skills Challenge.

"The sky is the limit for players the way the game is going," Adebayo said of winning the competition against a fellow big man and over a field of multiple guards.

Adebayo and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam met in the semifinals before Sabonis and Bucks All-Star forward Khris Middleton squared off.

Players dribble from one 3-point line to the other winding between four vertical NBA logo obstacles, stopping to fire a chest pass through a station with a round opening just large enough to fit a basketball. Once the pass is successful, players dribble back to the end they started from, make a layup and return to the opposite end of the court where the one-on-one contest ends -- when one player makes a three from the top of key placards set on the floor and marked SHOOT.

Sabonis made his fourth 3-point try to make the finals. Middleton lost the ball attempting his layup but recovered in time to have a shot at the win.

The first players eliminated were 2018 Skills champ Spencer Dinwiddie (Brooklyn Nets), Patrick Beverley (LA Clippers), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder) and reigning champion Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics).

--By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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