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The Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love won the 2012 NBA Three-Point Contest on All-Star Saturday, beating two-time scoring champ Kevin Durant in a final round tiebreaker with 16 points. Durant scored 14 in defeat, and is now 0-2 in Three-Point Contests.
James Jones had a disastrous final round, hitting just one shot on the first rack and finishing with 10 points after scoring a scorching 22 in the first round.
Ryan Anderson, Mario Chalmers and Anthony Morrow were eliminated in the first round. Chalmers actually tied Love in the first round, but bricked most of his shots in the 10-shot tiebreaker. In the competition, Love ended up taking 85 shots in 30 minutes. Kobe Bryant is nodding in appreciation somewhere.
Next up is the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, which you can follow via SBNation.com's dedicated StoryStream, where we'll post videos, analysis and more. Love's teammate Derrick Williams is one of four contestants in the dunk contest.
James Jones, the defending champion, had a smoking first round performance in the 2012 Three-Point Contest on NBA All-Star Saturday, racking up 22 points and hitting his final seven shots. Kevin Durant, coming off of a brutal 2011 performance in the shootout, finished the first round with 20. Kevin Love and Mario Chalmers tied for third, and Love edged Chalmers by one make in the tiebreaker to advance to the finals.
Ryan Anderson finished fifth with a disappointing first-round run, and the Nets' Anthony Morrow -- rocking a vintage Drazen Petrovic jersey -- brought up the rear as his picture-perfect stroke was too slow to get through all 25 shots in the 60 seconds allotted.
Jones will attempt to win back-to-back titles, but Durant looks like a legit challenge at this point.
The dunk contest will follow the shootout. For all your 2012 Slam Dunk Contest needs, be sure to visit this StoryStream.
Everything about this GIF is great. The slick handshake celebration is one thing, but Serge Ibaka's attire wins everything. He's rocking a Thriller jacket for the All-Star Game festivities, showing up everyone else in attendance.
New Jersey Nets sharpshooter Anthony Morrow will be knocked out of the 2012 Three-Point Shootout Competition after posting a score of 14 in the first round, but in my eyes, he already won. That's because he decided to wear a Drazen Petrovic jersey, paying tribute to the former Nets great that tragically passed away in a fatal accident following the 1992-93 season.
Morrow had planned on donning the jersey the entire time, and despite falling short in the competition, he certainly made anyone watching from the Petrovic family proud. Here's what he said earlier on Sunday.
"I instantly thought, ‘If I get chosen, I’m going to wear his jersey,’ " Morrow said of the Three-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend. "It was something I always thought about in the back of my mind. I didn’t make it last year, and this year I did, so I said I would take advantage of it if I had the opportunity."
Tony Parker is the champion of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend. He wins a year's supply of cinnamon twists and a case of mild sauce packets. His winning time was 32.7 seconds.
Parker defeated Deron Williams, bricker of shots, and Rajon Rondo in the finals. Rondo beat John Wall in a rare tiebreaker to get to the finals. Both finished the first round in 32.8 seconds. Rondo's tiebreaker was nearly flawless. Wall missed 14 or so shots from the top of the key, and then missed a gratuitous dunk after he'd been eliminated. It was fantastic.
Kyrie Irving had perhaps the worst debut performance in the eight-year history of the event, doing everything but dribbling backwards. The kid for whom he was trying to win a $25,000 scholarship wouldn't even make eye contact with him at the end of the run.
Russell Westbrook, the 2011 runner-up, finished fifth, ahead of only Irving. Last year's champion, Stephen Curry, pulled out, citing injury.
The Skills Competition is more of a half-speed dribbling and passing competition for the NBA's finest point guards, leading the SB Nation newsroom to pine for JaVale McGee's inclusion. Wouldn't the Skills Competition be about 100 times better than the current setup with big men running the floor and McGee just being McGee? Of course it would.
Apparently John Wall thinks so, too. Perhaps he was upset McGee wasn't asked to be included in the dunk contest. Perhaps he's on board with McGee as a Skills Competition participant. Or maybe this competition doesn't mean much at all! Whatever the case, he paid tribute to the Wizards' dunker who has a propensity to toss the ball off the backboard with this gem:
It's been a fun weekend for Wall already. At least Greg Monroe didn't come out of nowhere to interrupt Wall this time.
Allan Houston sunk two halfcourt shots to lead Team New York to a victory in the 2012 Haier Shooting Stars competition on All-Star Saturday. Houston, who works in the New York Knicks' basketball operations, served as the legend for Team New York. Knicks guard Landry Fields was the active NBA player on the winning squad, and Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty was the WNBA rep.
The competition involved teammates alternating shots from different spots on the floor and ended with the players attempting halfcourt shots until one of them made it.
TNT analyst Kenny Smith made both halfcourt shots for the runner-up, Team Texas. But that team's finals run took a bit too much as the Houston Rockets rookie Chandler Parsons' arms apparently fell asleep during intermission, allowing the wing to take only one shot every 10 seconds. (That's a rough estimate.)
Team Atlanta (starring Jerry Stackhouse ... as the active player) and hometown Team Orlando bombed in the first round.
The NBA Slam Dunk Contest takes place on Saturday, Feb. 25. This warm-up for the All-Star Game will be televised on TNT.
Gerald Green led the Western team with 28 points and was named game MVP in the West's 135-132 victory.
The 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest takes place Saturday night in Orlando. Here is a look at some past memories.
The NBA Shooting Stars is an All-Star Saturday event that still takes place, or something.
John Wall, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul will compete in the 2012 Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
Meet the six contestants in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, which will be held on Saturday at Amway Center in Orlando as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night.
Indiana Pacers guard Paul George is considered by some to be the favorite to win the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Competition.
Houston Rockets forward Chase Budinger takes center stage when he competes in Saturday's Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Derrick Williams will be participating in the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday.
Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans will compete in the 2012 NBA dunk contest, leaving just one question: What's a Jeremy Evans?
All-Star practice and D-League events kick off All-Star Saturday before the four night events, culminating in the dunk contest.
The 2012 NBA D-League All-Star Game will take place on Saturday afternoon. The most important part of the game, however, is probably the halftime show, as it will feature the league's slam dunk contest.
In the spirit of NBA All-Star Weekend, Dan Grunfeld recounts his own All-Star snub story, a tale with a surprise ending as twisty as a Kosher pretzel. You'll see why that reference is relevant.
There isn't much that a player can do at the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during the NBA's All-Star Weekend that we haven't seen before. Knowing that, the league is tweaking the way that the competition's winner is determined, deciding to shake things up this year by using Twitter to name a champion for the first time ever.
Tune in to TNT at 8 pm (ET) to vote for the new Sprite Slam Dunk champion by tweeting the hashtag #SpriteSlam with the last name of your favorite dunker. This year, there are no judges for the contest––just fans like you who will determine the outcome by tweeting. Fans will also be able to vote via text message and on NBA.com
Fans will also be able to follow along with Dunk Contest participants on Twitter as they compete. They can follow the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George (@King24George), Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Derrick Williams (@RealDWill7), the Houston Rockets’ Chase Budinger (@CBudinger) and Jeremy Evans (@JeremyEvans40) from the Utah Jazz, all of whom will provide updates as the contest progresses.
Unlike previous incarnations, there will only be one round of dunks this year, with each participant getting three attempts. In years past, the Slam Dunk Contest featured multiple rounds in which judges and fans scored the competitors' attempts and whittled down the contestants until a winner was crowned.
The 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest starts at 8 p.m. ET on TNT on Feb. 25 at Amway Center in Orlando.
For more on the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest and the rest of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game festivities, stay with this SB Nation stream.
Jeremy Lin and the Knicks head to Miami to play the Heat on TNT Thursday night, for their toughest test yet. We talked to TNT's Kenny Smith this week to ask him about Lin, the Heat, All-Star Weekend and a whole lot more.
The left knee injury to Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson has caused him to pull out of both the 2012 NBA All-Star Game and the Three-Point Shootout competition in Orlando over the weekend. The league previously announced that Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics would replace Johnson in the actual All-Star Game. On Wednesday, they announced that Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant would replace him in the Three-Point Shootout.
Durant participated in the 2011 Three-Point Shootout as well, but couldn't advance past the first round. He is shooting 37 percent from three-point range this season, but unlike most good three-point shooters, he takes a lot of contested shots.
James Jones of the Miami Heat will be defending his title in the competition against teammate Mario Chalmers, Ryan Anderson of the Magic, Kevin Love of the Timberwolves, Anthony Morrow of the Nets and Durant. The event will take place as part of NBA All-Star Saturday night.
The 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is Saturday night in Orlando this weekend, and to help celebrate the occasion, let's take a look back at the best (and worst) dunk contests throughout history.
Tickets for this year's All-Star Game in Orlando are selling for about 64 percent of the price as last year's game in Los Angeles.
With Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson pulling out of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game due to tendonitis in his left knee, many felt teammate Josh Smith would get the call. Instead, the NBA has awarded the vacant spot on the Eastern Conference roster to Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, according to Celtics radio announcer Sean Grande.
Rondo will be the replacement for Joe Johnson on the All-Star team. Hasn't been announced yet, but hey, that's what Twitter's for I guess.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) February 22, 2012
That Rondo earned the nod isn't a huge surprise, given that Johnson is a guard himself. The NBA probably did not want to replace Johnson with a frontcourt player, and Rondo is certainly a deserving candidate himself despite missing some time earlier in the season.
It remains unclear which player will replace Johnson in the Three-Point Shootout competition on Saturday night.
Joe Johnson will indeed be unavailable to play in the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA Three-Point Shootout competition over the weekend due to a left knee injury, the Atlanta Hawks announced on Wednesday. The news was first reported on Tuesday by Zach Klein of the Wall-Street Journal.
Via Hawks PR:
Atlanta's Joe Johnson will miss this weekend"s All-Star Weekend because of the tendinitis in his left knee.#Hawks— AT - HawksPRGuy (@HawksPRGuy) February 22, 2012
Johnson's absence opens up a spot in the All-Star Game for another player. Many expect that Johnson's teammate, Josh Smith, will be the man tabbed to replace him, but that decision has not been made. We do know that New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin will not be the guy, as NBA commissioner David Stern told David Aldridge of NBA.com that he will not step in to give Lin a spot in the game.
Johnson is averaging just 17.6 points per game this year, his lowest average since joining the Hawks in 2005.
The annual NBA Slam Dunk Contest was already lacking a bit of luster when the original contestants were announced, but the latest reports indicate that the participants are changing. An injury to New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert has opened a spot for Jeremy Evans, a second-year pro for the Utah Jazz.
It might not necessarily be for the better, but it can't get much worse. Evans is probably the furthest thing away from a household name that the NBA could find, considering he's averaging fewer than two points per game while playing less than any of his Jazz teammates.
Those types of statistics don't matter in the dunk contest, though. Evans has shown quite a few times in game situations that when he has the ball, it's likely going to be slammed through the cylinder -- even if he has to jump six feet and through a defending Gerald Wallace to do so.
For more coverage of 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend, stay with this stream.
Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson will miss the team's next two games and may also miss the NBA All-Star Game.
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry will defend his Skills Challenge title at NBA All-Star Weekend 2012, the league announced. Curry will square off against five other players in the event, which will take place on Saturday night.
Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets will battle with Curry for the crown. Westbrook was the runner-up in last year's event while Wall finished fourth out of five contestants. Irving, Parker and Williams did not compete in last year's competition.
The Skills Challenge features an obstacle course that players must navigate. Players must dribble between cones, throw bounce and chest passes into a net, shoot a layup and hit a long jump shot. The two fastest times advance to the finals, and the fastest time between those two is crowned champion.
All-Star Weekend is around the corner, and Friday another piece of the puzzle fell into place, as the NBA announced the lineups for the Shooting Stars competition on All-Star Saturday Night.
Shooting stars, you'll remember, is the competition that blends NBA legends, current NBA stars, and WNBA representatives for a game that's sort of like HORSE, but with points assigned to each hot spot on the floor. This year's teams hail from Houston, Atlanta, Orlando, and New York. The Lineups (via the NBA's Press Release):
Team Atlanta features the Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnson, who was named an All-Star for the sixth time this year; Lindsay Harding of the reigning WNBA Eastern Conference champion Atlanta Dream; and NBA TV analyst Steve Smith, an All-Star selection in 1998 with the Hawks and a member of the 2003 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.
TEAM NEW YORK
Team New York is comprised of the New York Knicks’ Landry Fields, who will also play for Team Shaq in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend; the New York Liberty’s Cappie Pondexter, a four-time WNBA All-Star and one of the league’s top scorers; and former Knicks great Allan Houston, who averaged 17.3 points over his 12-year NBA career, and currently works in New York’s front office as an assistant general manager.
Team Texas is represented by the Houston Rockets’ Chandler Parsons, an Orlando-area native and second-round pick in 2011, who’s worked his way into the Rockets’ starting lineup as a rookie; the San Antonio Silver Stars’ Sophia Young, a four-time WNBA All-Star, who averaged 13.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 2011; and TNT analyst Kenny Smith, a two-time NBA champion with the Houston Rockets (1994, 1995).
The home team includes the Orlando Magic’s Jameer Nelson, an All-Star in 2009; Florida native and three-time WNBA All-Star Marie Ferdinand-Harris; and former Magic great Dennis Scott, who spent seven seasons with Orlando after the team made him the fourth overall selection of the 1990 NBA Draft.
So, there you have it! The lineups are set and if nothing else, at least there'll be a Dennis Scott sighting. And hey, for all you gambling addicts out there, Team New York's gotta be favored, right?
JaVale McGee will not be competing in this year's Slam Dunk Contest, but unlike many others, he didn't choose to skip the event. Instead, according to a report, McGee was passed over as the NBA made its selections and began assembling the lineups. It's a somewhat surprising move considering McGee showed well in last year's dunk contest, going head-to-head with Blake Griffin but coming up short in the final fan vote.
This time around, the NBA reportedly wanted to freshen things up a bit.
Crazy news: JaVale McGee was not asked to participate in the Slam Dunk competition. He said he would've gone to ORL if asked. #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) February 16, 2012
According to source, the NBA wanted to go in a different direction with the slam dunk contest, which is why all new faces were invited.— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) February 17, 2012
Chase Budinger, Derrick Williams, Iman Shumpert and Paul George were chosen to participate in this year's contest. The rest of the big names -- including Blake Griffin and LeBron James -- opted not to join in on the festivities. In that regard, it's a bit perplexing McGee wasn't even in consideration, but to each their own.
The Dunk Contest may be dying, but it's not dead. Perhaps Jeremy Lin can inject some life into it? The lineup for this year's contest in Orlando hasn't been announced officially, but ESPN's Marc Stein broke the news Thursday morning.
The four participants will be...
...and, most notably
Shumpert on his own isn't a household name, and none of these guys are. Derrick Williams was the number two pick in the 2011 Draft, but he's still fairly anonymous in the NBA. But the bet is that Shumpert will enlist the services of his famous teammate, Lin, to be a passer for him. And suddenly it won't matter how famous everyone else is. The dunk contest has struggled in recent years, at least until Blake Griffin made headlines at last year's edition in Los Angeles. Now Griffin has said he won't be dunking and the NBA turns its eyes to four, relatively-unknown younger players. But if Jeremy Lin is really on board, it's a safe bet that NBA fans will watch regardless. So at least they've got that goin' for them!
The NBA has announced the 2012 Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout field for All-Star Weekend and it will be headlined by defending champion James Jones of the Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love.
Jones bested Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to win the contest last year and will look to become the first back-to-back winner since Jason Kapono did it in '07 and '08. Other NBA players who have won the contest twice include Jeff Hornacek, Mark Price and Peja Stojakovic. Larry Bird and Craig Hodges both won the contest three times.
Of those in the field, Anderson has the highest total of 3-pointers with 80 while Chalmers's .463 shooting percentage is the highest.
The event will be part of the TNT's All-Star Saturday coverage that begins at 8 p.m. Feb. 25.
For more coverage of 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend, stay with this stream.
Kevin Love says he will compete in the 2012 three-point shooting contest during All-Star Weekend.
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