NEW ORLEANS: Glenn Robinson scored a perfect 50 on his final dunk to capture the NBA All Star Game’s slam dunk title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) after leaping over three people for a dynamic two-handed reverse jam.
Indiana Pacers forward Robinson jumped over teammate Paul George, the club’s mascot and a Pacer cheerleader to easily win the contest over Phoenix Suns rookie Derrick Jones.
“I wanted to bring some energy to the competition,” Robinson said. “I wanted to do something no one has ever seen.”
In the final round, Robinson faced off against Jones, who advanced from the four original competitors. The Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and the Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon were eliminated in the earlier rounds.
The NBA has struggled to get its marquee players in the slam dunk contest and that was underlined by the inclusion this year of the undrafted Jones.
Very few NBA fans know who Jones is as he has played just 24 minutes this season in the league after spending the majority of his rookie campaign with Phoenix’s development league team, the Northern Arizona Suns.
Jones didn’t record his first dunk in the NBA until Wednesday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Robinson’s perfect 50 on the winning dunk gave him a two-dunk total of 94 in the finals. He ran from the right side, grabbed the ball, and leaped over the trio, ducking his head to prevent himself from hitting the rim.
“My head was at the rim,” Robinson said. “I’m an explosive player.
“I got some great help to get this done. On a couple of dunks my head was at the rim.”
Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon, the NBA’s leading three-point shooter this season, defeated Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving in the overtime round of the All-Star Three-Point Contest, scoring 21 points to Irving’s 18 in the extra period.
Gordon nailed several clutch jumpers, including a final shot in the second round to send the contest into overtime.
“It’s all about getting hot,” Gordon said. “All of us know, as shooters, anybody can get hot on any given night. Tonight was my night. As shooters, it’s all about being consistent.”
The biggest surprise in the first round of the Three-Point Contest was that reigning champ Klay Thompson was knocked out after scoring just 18 points.
New York Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis won the Skills Challenge by defeating Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward in the final. Porzingis won by nailing a three-pointer from the left side of the key on his first attempt.
“Before we started doing it, while I was doing the walk through, I knew that the pass and the shot on the three-pointer was the most important parts of that,” Porzingis said.
“And I was able to make the pass on the first try all three times. And then in the final, that last shot just went in. So just a little bit of luck.”