By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
ANKARA (AA) - NBA All-Star weekend continued with its Saturday night events at Chicago's United Center, as last second three-point shot in shootout and a slam dunk contest that went as much as second tie break round pleased fans.
In the most anticipated event of the night, Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. won the AT&T Slam Dunk 2020 contest, beating Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon in a second tie break round.
Gordon's first five dunks received all perfect scores, 50, from the judges, as he got through first round, the final round and the first round of the dunk-off against Jones.
Derrick Jones Jr, on the other hand, got 46, 50, 50, 50 and 50 to advance to the same position. His third dunk included an over a man iwith an off-the back board pass, between the legs dunk that left the crowd in awe.
In his final dunk, Derrick Jones Jr. did a one-foot inside the free-throw line dunk to have 48 points.
In the second dunk of the second tie break round, Aaron Gordon jumped over 7-foot-5 Tacko Fall to crown his perfect night, but the judges gave Gordon's dunk a 47, just one point shy to match Jones Jr.
After the dunk contest, the 2016 slam dunk contest runner-up, once again coming off short, Gordon said he's done with the contest.
"We’re here to do four dunks. It should be the best out of four dunks. I did four straight 50s — five straight 50s. It’s over. It’s a wrap. Let’s go home," he said. "
In the second event of the night, Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings took home the 3-point contest trophy, first Kings player since Peja Stokajovic hoisted the trophy in 2002 and 2003, a rare back-to-back feat.
Hield also became the first Kings player to win a trophy in Saturday Night activities since Stojakovic, beating Devin Booker and Davis Bertans in the final round.
In the first event, Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo won the skills challenge, beating Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis.
On the side note, Portland Trail Blazers' All-Star Damian Lillard performed with Lil Wayne at the Saturday night.
- NBA announces All-Star MVP award named after Kobe Bryant
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced on Saturday night that the All-Star Game's MVP award from now on will be named after late legend Kobe Bryant.
"We are now announcing, that we are re-naming our All-Star MVP trophy to be Kobe Bryant MVP award. This trophy will be presented at the conclusion of tomorrow [Sunday] night's All-Star game, and I know it will be especially meaningful to that player to win the first Kobe Bryant MVP."
Silver continued to say that there will be other honors as well to be discussed in April to also honor late NBA commissioner David Stern, "but this one seems so appropriate here at All-Star, because no one embodied All-Star more than Kobe Bryant."
On Jan. 26, Kobe and Gianna, 13, his second daughter, were killed in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles, along with seven other people on board.
Bryant had 4 All-Star MVP honors, most in NBA history to go along with Hawks legend Bob Pettit.