Knicks’ Obi Toppin wins dunk contest as others struggle
CLEVELAND (AP) — The latest from All-Star Saturday:
Obi Toppin won the slam dunk contest, earning a 47 on his final dunk when he needed to do little more than put the ball in the basket after Juan Toscano-Anderson couldn’t on his previous try.
In a disappointing finish to All-Star Saturday, the four dunkers occasionally left the judging panel of Hall of Famers with expressionless looks on their faces.
Toppin, the New York Knicks forward, beat Golden State’s Toscano-Anderson in the final round to win the event after finishing second as a rookie.
Houston rookie Jalen Green and Orlando guard Cole Anthony failed to advance. Anthony couldn’t make his second dunk and appeared to hurt his thumb banging it against the rim.
The big man was the big winner in the 3-point contest.
Minnesota All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns showed off his long-range shooting skills and was a surprising winner of the event, scoring 29 points in his final round.
Towns beat Luke Kennard of the Clippers and Atlanta’s Trae Young in the final round.
Towns has long considered himself the best-shooting big man in the game and vowed he was going to back up his boasts with a victory.
“I needed this trophy to prove it,” Towns said.
Brooklyn’s Patty Mills, Toronto’s Fred VanVleet, Chicago’s Zach LaVine, Memphis’ Desmond Bane, and New Orleans’ CJ McCollum failed to advance.
The host Cleveland Cavaliers were the first winners of the revamped Skills Challenge.
Rookie Evan Mobley gave his team a victory by nailing a halfcourt shot on his first attempt, allowing the Cavs to close out the final portion of the contest in 5.5 seconds.
All-Stars Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland were the other members of the winning team to kick off All-Star Saturday.
The rookie squad of No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham of Detroit, Scottie Barnes of Toronto and Josh Giddey of Oklahoma City was the runner-up in the contest combining shooting, passing and dribbling.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers Thanasis and Alex finished third.
The Antetokounmpo brothers clearly enjoyed competing together as a team. There were engaged and all smiles from the outset of the challenge. They were asking the referees for a video review of the end of the passing portion of the event.
Still to come is the 3-point shooting and dunk competitions.
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