NEW ORLEANS – The Eastern Conference threesome of Toronto’s Terrence Ross, Indiana’s Paul George and Washington’s John Wall won the NBA All-Star Saturday night slam dunk contest.
Wall capped the triumph by leaping over a Wizards mascot while grabbing the ball from in front of the mascot’s head, then throwing down a double-pump, reverse, two-handed jam. The dunk eliminated Sacramento’s Ben McLemore, the last hope for the Western Conference. Wall was named dunker of the night.
For the first time, the dunk contest was a competition between conferences. Along with McLemore, the West was represented by Portland’s Damian Lillard, Golden State’s Harrison Barnes.
Earlier, San Antonio’s Marco Belinelli won the 3-point contest; the tandem of Lillard and Utah’s Trey Burke won the skills challenge; and Team Bosh, consisting of Miami’s Chris Bosh, former NBA star Dominique Wilkins and WNBA player Swin Cash, won the shooting stars event.
In the 3-point shooting contest, Belinelli needed to win a tiebreaker round in the final to beat Bradley Beal.
The Washington All-Star had made his final six shots, including two money balls worth two points each, to tie Belinelli’s initial final-round score of 19.
Belinelli then scored event-high 24 for the win.
There were four shooters from each conference.
Belinelli had a score of 19 to win the West, beating Lillard’s 18. Beal had a score of 21 to win the East, easily eclipsing defending champ Kyrie Irving’s total of 16.
Lillard won the skills challenge for the second straight year.
Lillard and Burke, representing the West, beat the tandem of Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo of the East in the final round by a tenth of a second.
The skills course consists of dribbling around obstacles, passing to targets, and hitting shots from medium and close range. The winning time was 45.2 seconds.
In the first round, Lillard and Burke beat Phoenix’s Goran Dragic and Oklahoma City’s Reggie Jackson.
Carter-Williams and Oladipo downed Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan to represent the East in the final round.
Bosh hit a half-court shot to give his team the victory in the shooting stars contest that opened up NBA All-Star Saturday night.
Team Bosh had a final-round time of 31.4 seconds.
Each team had to hit shots from 10 feet from a right-side angle, the top of the key, 3-point range and half court, with the victory going to the team with the best time.
Team Durant, consisting of Kevin Durant, Karl Malone and Skylar Diggins, opened the final round with a time of 43.6.
There were two teams from each conference. Team Durant beat Team Curry – made up of Stephen Curry, Dell Curry and Becky Hammon – in the first round to represent the West. Team Bosh edged Team Hardaway – consisting of Tim Hardaway Jr., Tim Hardaway Sr. and Elena Delle Donne in the first round.
The Mad Ants’ Tony Mitchell won the D-League slam dunk competition for the second straight year. His final dunk in a sudden-death round with Ra’shad James of the Reno Bighorns earned a 49, edging the 48 turned in by James.
Both players posted identical scores of 99 on two dunks in the final round before needing an extra round, which consisted of a one dunk. Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Delaware 87ers and Darren White of the Erie BayHawks rounded out the field.
Mad Ants guard Ron Howard had a game-high 11 assists and two points as his Prospects team won the All-Star game, 145-142 over the Futures.