The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

East wins All-Star dunk contest, Belinelli wins 3-point contest, Lillard-Burke win skills test

  • Print

NEW ORLEANS - John Wall soared over his mascot, and the East stomped on the West in the slam dunk contest.

Wall's sensational slam finished off a clean sweep for the Washington star, Paul George and Terrence Ross in the contest's new battle format, helping the Eastern Conference earn a 2-2 tie against the West on All-Star Saturday night.

Answering Sacramento rookie Ben McLemore's dunk in which he leaped over Shaquille O'Neal seated in a king's throne, Wall took the ball from Wizards mascot G-Man, who held it above his head, then brought it down between his legs and slammed down a two-handed reverse dunk.

"It was only my second time doing it. My first time was on Thursday," Wall said. "So I just felt comfortable with myself and I knew it was a dunk that hasn't been done before."

Judges Dominique Wilkins, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving all gave the victory to Wall in his matchup, after picking George over Harrison Barnes, and defending champion Ross over Damian Lillard in the first dunk contest with three All-Stars since 1988.

San Antonio's Marco Belinelli won the 3-point contest, and Lillard and Utah rookie Trey Burke won the skills challenge for the West's two victories. Miami's Chris Bosh, Wilkins and WNBA star Swin Cash won the night's first event for the East, the shooting stars.

The league tried to jazz up All-Star Saturday for its return to New Orleans, with a number of tweaks to the format that weren't all positively received. Players were given an entire rack of money balls worth 2 points in the 3-point contest, which they could place at any of the five spots on the floor.

The skills challenge became a team relay format, but the biggest change was in the dunk contest, which was broken into two parts. The first was the freestyle portion, where the teams had 90 seconds to execute as many dunks as they could, before the three 1-on-1 matchups in the battle format.

The East had already clinched that part by winning the first two, but Wall made it a resounding shutout.

McLemore came out wearing a king's robe and trailed by O'Neal, who unveiled a "Shaq-Lemore" jersey. He made it over O'Neal's throne on his second attempt, and O'Neal presented him with a crown.

But moments later, Wall was the real king.

"The slam dunk has returned," said Erving, one of the NBA's most famed dunkers.

Before that, the new format was confusing to fans and the West players themselves, creating a largely silent crowd during their turn. The East had it all figured out, winning the first stage with a passing and dunking display straight out the Harlem Globetrotters, capped by a three-man dunk where Ross threw if off the backboard to Wall, who lobbed it off the overhead shot clock for George to race in and slam it down.

That was just a warm-up for the second round, when Ross, the event's defending champion from Toronto, started things off by edging Lillard with an assist on his dunk from rapper Drake.

Lillard was the first person to compete in three All-Star Saturday events, adding that to Friday's Rising Stars Challenge and Sunday's game to give him the most ambitious itinerary ever.

He started 2 for 2 by following Friday's victory by winning the skills challenge for the second straight year, he and Burke beating Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo by a tenth of a second.

But Lillard's run was stopped when Belinelli made his final three shots to finish with 19 points, edging him by one to advance to the finals from the West.

"I was happy to just be invited to all of them and be able to compete in them, and I wanted to win at least one. And I won the first one, and then I thought there would be some momentum to continue to try and win all three of them," Lillard said. "But I fell short in the 3-point contest, and as you all saw in the dunk contest, they kind of just outclassed us."

Bradley Beal had 21 points to win the East bracket, then made his final six shots in the finals to tie Belinelli and force a tiebreaker. Belinelli won it by making six straight shots at one point, sweeping his fourth rack.

"I was a little bit nervous at the beginning and I think that I shot like two airballs," Belinelli said.

"But in the end I was focused. I really cared about this trophy."

Bosh, Wilkins and Cash won their second straight shooting stars title, with Bosh making a pair of halfcourt shots.

"I keep asking Coach to let me shoot that shot in the game," Bosh said of Miami's Erik Spoelstra. "He won't let me do it yet, but I think that today will give him confidence if he was watching."

The conferences split $500,000 in winnings for charity.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Kevin Cheveldayoff announces Maurice contract extension

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Deer in Canola field near Elma, Manitoba. 060706.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What Western Conference teams will emerge from the first round of the NHL playoffs?

View Results

Ads by Google