Mitchell wins Slam Dunk Contest to highlight Saturday's All-Star festivities
Rookie Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz edged Larry Nance Jr of the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the Slam Dunk Contest as the climax of NBA All-Star Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Mitchell scored a perfect 50 on the first of two final-round dunks to take a four-point lead on Nance, who scored a perfect 50 on his second dunk to put the pressure on Mitchell, who responded with a 48 to edge Nance, 98-96.
"I wanted this so badly," Mitchell said in his on-court interview after the win. "This is one of my favorite events of All-Star Weekend growing up. To be in it, then to win it is just amazing. It was a lot of fun."
Mitchell was a late addition to the contest after Magic forward Aaron Gordon had to withdraw because of a hip injury.
Dennis Smith Jr of the Mavericks and Victor Oladipo of the Pacers were eliminated in the first round.
The Suns' Devin Booker won the Three-Point Contest by scoring a record 28 points of a possible 34 in the final round, defeating the Warriors' Klay Thompson, the 2016 champion who had 25 points, and the Clippers' Tobias Harris, who had 17. Booker made 20 of 25 3-pointers.
Defending champion Eric Gordon of the Rockets was eliminated in the first round, as were Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Paul George (Thunder) and Wayne Ellington (Heat).
The Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie defeated the Bulls' Lauri Markkanen to win the Skills Challenge, which paired players in a head-to-head series of skills contests in an obstacle-course-type format.
Four guards competed in one bracket and four big men in the other, with the two winners meeting in the final. Dinwiddie bested the Nuggets' Jamal Murray in the final of the guards bracket, and Markkanen beat the 76ers' Joel Embiid in the bigs bracket final.
Defending champion Kristaps Porzingis was unable to participate after suffering a torn ACL earlier this month.
Other participants were Buddy Hield (Kings), Lou Williams (Clippers), Al Horford (Celtics) and Andre Drummond (Pistons).