The first rookie All-Star in eight years then brought back an impossibly difficult favorite with his first dunk of the final, sticking his arm into the hoop and hanging from it by his elbow, just as Vince Carter did while winning the 2000 contest.
And when fans saw a car driving out of the arena tunnel, they waved the checkered flag on this race.
Griffin is in the midst of the busiest All-Star weekend for anybody in the NBA’s recent history. He scored 14 points in Friday’s Rookie Challenge, and he stayed in the dunk contest even after getting chosen for the West squad in Sunday’s main event.
All four dunkers distinguished themselves in Hollywood, showing planning and invention in what’s sometimes a slapdash event.
Ibaka took the court amid several banners for NBA Africa and promptly threw down a Dr. J-style long-jump dunk from the free throw line. Ibaka retrieved a stuffed toy off the rim with his mouth while throwing down his second dunk.
“My first dunk was from the free throw line and it was good,” Ibaka said. “The second one, nobody did it before in the NBA. … (But) it’s amazing to see Blake Griffin do a show like he did. He did a great job.”
McGee brought out a second basket standard attached to a forklift, placing right next to the regular backboard. After several misses, he managed to throw down a left-handed dunk while tossing the other ball off the board to himself for a right-handed jam.
McGee joined Griffin in the second round by dunking three balls on the same leap, slapping home a pass for the third jam. DeRozan couldn’t make the final round despite an impressive second dunk in which he threw a pass to himself off the backboard for a windmill reverse jam.
That’s when Griffin rolled out his wheels.
Griffin chuckled when asked whether he’ll defend his title next year in Orlando.
“We’ll see. I have to come up with something else,” he said. “Maybe a boat next year.”
Earlier, the Heat finally beat the Celtics at something this season, thanks to Jones‘ smooth shooting stroke.
Jones, an eight-year veteran who rarely shoots inside the 3-point line, made five straight shots late in the final round with his ground-bound style. Pierce was the defending champion, and Allen recently became the NBA’s career leader in 3-pointers.View Entire Story
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