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Donovan Mitchell tops Larry Nance Jr. for Verizon Slam Dunk title



Winner: Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
Runner-Up: Larry Nance Jr. (Cavaliers)

Donovan Mitchell’s rookie season just keeps getting better.

And that’s officially 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk champion Donovan Mitchell of the surging Utah Jazz, who claimed the crown on friends, family and throwback All-Star Saturday night at Staples Center.


Mitchell needed at least a 47 on his final dunk in the championship round to defeat Larry Nance Jr. of the Cleveland Cavaliers and secured a 48 for the win.


Both players employed family members to aid their respective causes. Mitchell brought up his little sister, along with comedian Kevin Hart and his son, for his second dunk in the first round. Nance Jr. used his father’s old uniform and dunk from Nance Sr.'s win in the inaugural Slam Dunk contest in 1984 and later had his father toss an alley-oop that he windmilled on his first dunk in the final round.

But Mitchell closed the contest with an ode to Verizon Slam Dunk legend and the oldest player in the NBA, Vince Carter (of the Sacramento Kings), stripping off his Jazz jersey to don Carter’s old Toronto Raptors’ No. 15. He finished the reverse 360 Carter used to win the 2000 Verizon Slam Dunk contest in Oakland.



Devin Booker takes JBL Three-Point Contest in record fashion

Winner: Devin Booker (Suns)
Runner-Up: Klay Thompson (Warriors) 

Devin Booker has established himself as one of the game's great shooters and confirmation came Saturday during a record run at the JBL Three-Point Contest.

The Suns guard amassed an event-record 28 points in the final round. Booker boosted his total by draining four out of five shots from his money ball rack. He also hit all the money balls in the remaining four racks. Overall, Booker hit 20 of 30 shots to edge former champ Klay Thompson, who took second with 25 points.


Brooklyn's Spencer Dinwiddie captures Taco Bell Skills Challenge

Winner: Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets)
Runner-Up: Lauri Markkanen (Bulls)

LOS ANGELES – In the third year of guards vs. bigs in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the guards finally won. But it was a big guard that did it.

The Brooklyn Nets' 6-6 point guard Spencer Dinwiddie defeated the Chicago Bulls' Lauri Markkanen in the final round to take home the Skills Challenge trophy.


The Skills Challenge is about two things, the chest pass and the top-of-the-key 3-pointer. Connect on the chest pass and you're out to an early lead, but if you can't make the three, your opponent can come from behind. Dinwiddie connected on his first chest pass to get out to a big lead on Markkanen. He missed his first 3-point attempt, but still had plenty of time and sunk his second before Markkanen could make it to the line.

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