Saturday, February 18, 2017

Indiana's Robinson wins Slam Dunk Contest

Indiana swingman Glenn Robinson III beat out Phoenix rookie Derrick Jones Jr. to win the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest to cap the NBA All-Star Saturday in New Orleans.

Robinson dunked over All-Star teammate Paul George for his first throwdown of the final round, then – in his first try – completed a reverse dunk over George, a mascot, and a cheerleader for his last slam.

He got a 44 for his first dunk, and a 50 for his second to seal the win.

"I think in a couple of the dunks, my head was at the rim," said Robinson III, a second round draft pick in 2014. "I'm an explosive player."

Robinson was up against the unheralded Jones Jr., an undrafted forward out of UNLV who was signed by the Suns.

The 6-foot-7 Robinson impressed in the first round, dunking over four people for his first slam dunk of the night, then catching an alley-oop off the side of the backboard from teammate Devin Booker and throwing down a between-the-legs slam.

50...EASY. #WeArePHX#VerizonDunk — NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2017

But the rookie faltered in the final, missing all three attempts in his first dunk. He made up for it with a between-the-legs dunk from just inside the free throw line that garnered him a perfect 50, only to be outshone by Robinson.

Robinson made it to the final by dunking over a two-man tower for his first dunk that earned the first 50 of the night, and then cruised to the championship round with a 360-dunk.

Nevertheless, the dunk contest failed to generate the same excitement that the 2016 edition did, when Orlando's Aaron Gordon and Minnesota's Zach Lavine engaged in a duel for the ages.

Lavine did not return to defend his crown as he is recovering from an ACL injury, while Gordon flamed out in the first round with a couple of blown dunks.

The other competitor, DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers, finished with an 83 in the first round, while Gordon had the lowest score of 72.