New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - John Wall of the Washington Wizards
threw down an impressive jam after taking the ball from team mascot G-Man and
led the Eastern Conference to a sweep of the dunk contest as part of All-Star
festivities Saturday night.
The East got victories from 2013 dunk champion Terrence Ross of the Toronto
Raptors and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers to win the newly-formatted
The conference that won three head-to-head battles first would be declared the
winner, and it was no contest. Ross won his matchup, 2-1, with Portland's
Damian Lillard with a between-the-legs jam after taking the ball from musical
Then came a clean sweep from the judges, NBA legends Dominique Wilkins, Julius
Erving and Magic Johnson, in the battle round between Golden State's Harrison
Barnes and Indiana's Paul George. Barnes missed his first two attempts and his
third was not impressive, a 2-handed flush. George, meanwhile, put on a 360-
degree, between-the-legs move to throw down his attempt.
Then came the West's final chance to stay in the competition. They sent out
Sacramento rookie Ben McLemore, who had Kings minority owner Shaquille O'Neal
play a part in the dunk. O'Neal sat in a king's throne and had McLemore jump
over him for a 1-handed jam.
Shaq delivered a gold crown on the top of McLemore's head, but on this night
it was Wall who became the dunk king. With G-Man facing the basket, Wall raced
in and took the ball, his legs splitting the mascot before putting down a
thunderous reverse jam. Wall swept all three votes and was honored by the fans
in a vote via text and web as dunker of the night.
"The slam dunk has returned," proclaimed Erving after delivering the final
vote of the night.
It marked the first time in 26 years that three All-Star competed in the dunk
competition. In 1988, Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins were
in the event when Jordan won the crown in front of the hometown crowd in
In the format change this year, three players representing the East and three
in the West competed in the two-round format. There was a freestyle round in
which the dunkers from each conference had 90 seconds to showcase their
talents by throwing down as many dunks as they wanted. The panel of judges
then chose a winning conference, which was the East.
The East had the highlight jam of the night in the freestyle round when Wall
threw the ball off the shot clock before George threw down a one-handed power
The East and West split four events on the night. Led by Miami Heat forward
Chris Bosh, Team Bosh of the Eastern Conference defeated Team Durant of the
Western Conference to win the Shooting Stars Challenge.
Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs won the 3-point contest and the
tandem of Lillard and Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz won the Skills Challenge
Belinelli beat Washington's Bradley Beal, 24-18, in the overtime round after
each scored 19 points from beyond the arc in the championship round.
Burke's layup completed the obstacle course, which tests a guard's dribbling,
passing and shooting abilities, in 45.2 seconds. That was 0.1 seconds better
than Philadelphia's Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo of the Orlando
It was the second straight Shooting Stars title for Team Bosh, which also
included Wilkins and Swin Cash of the WNBA's Chicago Sky. Bosh hit the winning
halfcourt shot to finish the competition in 31.4 seconds.
Kevin Durant of the Thunder, NBA legend Karl Malone and Skylar Diggins of the
WNBA's Tulsa Shock went first in the championship round and had a time of 43.6
The Sports Network