Basketball: Up & away for Robinson's top dunk

NEW ORLEANS • Indiana Pacers guard Glenn Robinson III won the Slam Dunk title over Phoenix Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr on Saturday by leaping over team-mate Paul George and two others for a reverse slam that merited a perfect 50 in the final round.

In the final round of the crowd-pleasing event on the NBA's All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, the 23-year-old faced off against the Phoenix rookie.

The Clippers' DeAndre Jordan and the Magic's Aaron Gordon were eliminated in the earlier round.

After Jones scored a 50 on his final dunk, giving him a total of 87, Robinson needed only 44 points on his second dunk to win the title. He did it with flair.

George set up near the basket, placing the ball behind his head. In front of George were the Pacers mascot and a member of the Pacers dance squad.

Robinson came in from the right wing, grabbed the ball, leapt over the three people, ducked his head to avoid hitting the rim and completed a spectacular reverse slam with ease.

The perfect 50 gave him a two-dunk total of 94 in the finals. "My head was at the rim," Robinson said. "I'm an explosive player."


The 1.98m Glenn Robinson III jumping over his 2.06m team-mate Paul George, the Pacers mascot and a Pacers dance team member, for a spectacular reverse slam to earn a perfect score that won him the Slam Dunk crown. PHOTO: REUTERS

Earlier, Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon, the National Basketball Association'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 important 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 three-point contest went to overtime after Gordon and Irving scored 20 points each in the second round, eliminating the Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker, who had 17. The shock in the first round was that Golden State guard Klay Thompson, the reigning champion, was knocked out after scoring just 18 points.

New York Knicks 2.20m centre Kristaps Porzingis won the skills challenge by defeating Utah Jazz's 2.03m forward Gordon Hayward in the final.

The native of Latvia won by nailing a three-pointer from the left side of the key on his first attempt.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2017, with the headline 'Up & away for Robinson's top dunk'. Print Edition | Subscribe