MANILA, Philippines – Consistency was the key for Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell in beating Cleveland Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr. in the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest championship round of the NBA All-Stars Weekend on Saturday, February 17.
Following his first perfect 50-point alley-oop dunk with one hand, Mitchell’s final and winning dunk saw him break out into a Vince Carter Raptors jersey to complete his replication of the “It’s over” pose used by Carter in 2000.
Mitchell needed at least 47 points to win the competition after Nance Jr. tallied a total of 96 points in the championship round. The Carter dunk merited the Jazz player 48 points, edging Nance by two points.
"Half man, half amazing!"— NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2018
Is that Donovan Mitchell or Vince Carter?
Mitchell replicates the dunking legend and wins the #VerizonDunk Contest with this incredible hammer!#TakeNote pic.twitter.com/G4XxvLbgYl
Mitchell was not even supposed to be in the slam dunk contest as he was only placed into the event two weeks ago after Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon was reported to be suffering from a hip injury.
The recently-traded Cavaliers player started his championship round performance with a costume change to the Phoenix Suns jersey of his father, Larry Sr, who was also the inaugural champion of the NBA Slam Dunk contest in 1984. Nance Jr. paid tribute to his dad by replicating the senior’s 360-degree windmill jam off the oop.
Larry Nance Sr. won the first dunk contest in 1984.— ESPN (@espn) February 18, 2018
Larry Nance Jr. made him proud Saturday night. pic.twitter.com/JxJnVhrU3a
After his 46-point start, Nance capped off his performance with an impressive two-handed double-tap-on-the-backboard slam that gave him a perfect score of 50.
Wait…run that back!— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 18, 2018
Larry Nance Jr. DOUBLE TAPPED IT!#VerizonDunk pic.twitter.com/F6mwGG145v
Mitchell and Nance Jr. advanced to the championship round after tallying 98 (48,50) and 93 (44,49) points respectively.
In the first round, Mitchell brought out a another basket to complete the set up of his first dunk. The Jazz rookie threw the ball off the second backboard and connected it for a windmill slam that gave him a 48-point start.
In his next dunk, he brought out 3 people including his sister, comedian Kevin Hart and a child to crouch down below the basket. He leaped over them from the right corner of the court and finished it off with a one-hand slam.
Donovan Mitchell is NOT playing pic.twitter.com/jTyvySdWRA— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 18, 2018
Lone-All Star Victor Oladipo was looking to qualify for the final round, but he needed the help of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman who handed him a Black Panther mask before his dunk. The “Black Panther” dunk only gave him 40 points and he ended up finishing 4th with a total of 70 points.
Dennis Smith Jr. had a shaky start in his first dunk, but he immediately made up for it with a perfect score for his 360 between-the-legs slam that gave him the 3rd place finish.
Perfect Score for Dennis Smith Jr.— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 18, 2018
Is it the best dunk so far? pic.twitter.com/STnNk350zS
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