NBA All-Star Saturday Night had a new host and new format this year, but the changes added very little to the event, which saw the emergence of several young stars, including Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving and Toronto Raptors rookie Terrence Ross.
The night started with the Sears Shooting Star Contest, which features a current NBA player, NBA legend and a WNBA player. Team Bosh, featuring Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins and Chicago Sky forward Swin Cash, took the event in less than impressive fashion. Both Team Bosh and Team Russell Westbrook, which consisted of the Thunder point guard, former seven-time champion Robert Horry and Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore, took over three minutes combined to finish the final round.
Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard zoomed past the rest of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge competition, finishing both his rounds in less than a minute combined, beating Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday in the final round to take home the crown. Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague finished with the worst time, even missing the final lay-up.
Kyrie Irving continued his quest to own All-Star Weekend, winning the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest in near record setting fashion. The event started out with the Western Conference team of Stephen Curry, Ryan Anderson and Matt Bonner scoring 17, 18 and 19 points, respectively. Irving went first for the Eastern team, pouring in 18. Indiana Pacers forward Paul George air-balled a shot on his first rack, and things didn't get much better from there, as he finished with a final score of 10. Irving's 18 was just enough to beat out New York Knicks forward Steve Novak by one basket.
Irving went first in the final round, missing just one basket in his first three racks. Irving admitted after the contest he got tired on the final two racks, but he still managed a score of 23, just two baskets off the single round record held by both Craig Hodges and Jason Kapono. Bonner followed up Irving with a score of 20, good enough to win the contest in most years.
The Sprite Slam Dunk contest closed out the night in mostly exciting fashion. Indiana Pacers guard Gerald Green and Ross opened the contest with back-to-back perfect scores. YouTube sensation James White followed that up with a 45, giving the Eastern Conference a first round lead due in part to a lackluster showing from the Western Conference squad of Eric Bledsoe, Kenneth Faried and Evans. Ross and Evans advanced to the championship round where they both put on a show.
Evans started off by dunking over a painting of himself dunking over a painting. Evans revealed after the contest that he did the painting himself and finished it Friday night. Ross followed that up by donning a Vince Carter Raptors jersey, paying homage to Carter's famous 2000 dunk contest performance. Ross then took a pass off the backboard and did a 360 windmill. For his second dunk, Evans took a pass from a seated Dahntay Jones, hung in the air and threw it down with one hand. Ross set-up a ball boy just outside the paint, jumped over him and threw the ball down after going between his legs. Ross was declared the winner minutes later, garnering 58 percent of fan voting.
NBA All-Star Weekend continues Sunday with the All-Star Game. Coverage on TNT begins at 8:30 p.m. ET.