NBA All-Star Saturday Night: John Wall shuts it down for the East in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest (TNT Notes added)
John Wall’s reverse dunk sealed the victory for the Eastern Conference.
The All-Star weekend festivities have been given a face lift yet again. The theme this year has an East vs. West theme in the four competitions. It’s been a busy two days for Portland’s Damian Lillard — who is a participant in every event, including the NBA All-Star Game.
For those like myself — who slept through the events, here are the results of the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge.
NBA Rising Stars Challenge
Team Hill 142 – Team Webber 136
Detroit center Andre Drummond scored 30 points and grabbed a Rising Stars record 25 rebounds (14 offensive), taking home the game’s MVP honors for Team Hill (team selected by Grant Hill). Cleveland’s Dion Waiters scored 31 points and New York’s Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a game-high 36 points for Team Webber (team selected by Chris Webber).
|P||Waiters 31||Hardaway Jr. 36|
|RB||Drummond 25||Davis 8|
|A||Waiters 7||Carter-Williams 9|
|S||Waiters 3||Plumlee 4|
|B||3 players 1||Adams 4|
Sears Shooting Stars 2014
Team Bosh (Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, NBA Legend Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky) won the Sears Shooting Stars competition. This is the second consecutive year Bosh has been on the winning team.
Taco Bell Skills Challenge
Portland’s Damian Lillard and Utah rookie Trey Burke defeated the rookie combination of Orlando’s Victor Oladipo and Philadelphia’s Michael-Carter Williams to win the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest
The Western Conference combination of Marco Belinelli (San Antonio), Steph Curry (Golden State) and Damian Lillard (Portland) defeated the Eastern Conference contingent of Bradley Beal (Washington), Joe Johnson (Brooklyn) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland). Beal defeated Belinelli in a shootout after tying the competition at 19. Belinelli won the shootout 24-18.
Sprint Slam Dunk Contest
Washington Wizards John Wall’s reverse dunk after leaping over the team’s mascot was the highlight of the night. The competition was composed of a Freestyle Round and three Battle rounds. Wall defeated Sacramento’s Ben McLemore to give the Eastern Conference squad (Indiana’s Paul George, Toronto’s Terrence Ross and Wall) a victory over the Western Conference (Golden State’s Harrison Barnes, Portland’s Damian Lillard and McLemore).
Kevin Hart wins NBA Celebrity All-Star Game’s MVP defers to Arne Duncan.
Comedian/Actor Kevin Hart won an unprecedented third consecutive MVP in the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game, but in the end Hart passed the honor to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan — who flirted with a triple-double, scoring 20 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists.
Arne Duncan with a no-look dime.
ARNE DUNCAN THE GOAT https://t.co/DFeNM7rrR3
— Tyler Lashbrook (@lashy) February 15, 2014
Commentators: Ernie Johnson (host), Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and Steve Kerr (analysts), Dominique Wilkins, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving (judges)
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night: Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Sprite Slam Dunk
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O’Neal on All-Star Saturday Night: “This is where you can solidify your name as an athlete. When I was a youngster watching guys like Charles [Barkley] and the great [14-time All-Star] Karl Malone, they solidified themselves by [coming into each All-Star weekend] saying, ‘I’m an All-Star and I’m a great player.’”
Smith on participating in All-Star events: “It’s eerie walking out on that court without your teammates when you have 22,000 people watching. You have to remember your energy is going to dictate the crowd’s energy, especially in the dunk contest. You have to be energized and excited.”
Team East captain Paul George and Team West captain Stephen Curry joined the TNT NBA Tip-Off crew
Curry on who he believes are the three greatest shooters ever: “The three that I watched growing up were [TNT analysts] Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller and [Miami's] Ray Allen. The amount of time [Ray Allen] has been able to shoot the way he has, the longevity of his career; it’s amazing. Reggie was a clutch shooter with big time shots and you could always rely on Steve Kerr to knock down those shots.”
George on the Pacers’ edge and drive to get to the NBA Finals: “We’ve got a very opinionated group. We voiced what we wanted to do this year and took a lot of criticism, but we’ve just got a goal. We feel like at the end of the year, the way this team is assembled, we’ve got a shot to win it all. We’re confident with it.”
George on playing for Pacers head coach Frank Vogel: “It’s great. He’s a positive dude, it’s easy to work for him and everyone’s on the same page. The locker room is positive because of him…he’s done a great job with us.”
George on where [recently traded center] Andrew Bynum will fit into the Pacers lineup: “I see him getting great minutes in the second unit. [Pacers center] Roy Hibbert is great, but he gets tired. We’re going to need another body in there that can produce at the same level. I feel like Andrew can do that for us.”
Webber on Thunder guard Reggie Jackson: “He’s improved tremendously and has turned into one of the leaders on his team. It’s good to see him be appreciated at All-Star with all the hard work he’s done for Oklahoma City.”
Webber on Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard: “Lillard has something to prove, not only because he is trying to be in the most events in All-Star history, but he has that pride where he wants to enjoy and excel.”
Kerr on Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry: “You can’t bet against Steph Curry. He’s the best shooter in the world.”
Miller on the pressures of the three-point contest: “When you practice this at your own arena after practice and no one is around you shoot them so easily. It’s so different when you put people in the stands and it’s just you out there with none of your teammates around. It takes on a different form.”
Barkley on Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal: “Bradley Beal is going to be an All-Star for the next few years in this league. He’s a great young player. The Wizards team with [Beal] and [Wizards point guard] John Wall have played fantastic. At the end of the day they will be the third best team in the Eastern Conference.”
Miller on Team East captain Paul George: “He’s the best dunker in the competition.”
Wilkins on Sprite Slam Dunk champion John Wall: “John Wall just brought the Dunk Contest back.”
O’Neal on John Wall’s winning dunk: “What I like about the John Wall dunk is he did it on the first attempt. Going back to the eighties, Dominique had the two-hand windmill and Michael Jordan kissed the rim, both on the first attempt. I think completing it on the first attempt gave John Wall the edge.”