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Wall leads East to All-Star dunk triumph


John Wall, East Win Dunk Contest

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- John Wall soared over his mascot, and the East stomped on the West in the slam dunk contest.

Wall's sensational slam finished off a clean sweep for the Washington star, Paul George and Terrence Ross in the contest's new battle format, helping the Eastern Conference earn a 2-2 tie against the West on All-Star Saturday night.

Answering Sacramento rookie Ben McLemore's dunk in which he leaped over Shaquille O'Neal seated in a king's throne, Wall took the ball from Wizards mascot G-Man, who held it above his head, then brought it down between his legs and slammed down a reverse dunk.

Judges Dominique Wilkins, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving all gave the victory to Wall in his matchup, after previously picking George over Harrison Barnes, and defending champion Ross over Damian Lillard.

San Antonio's Marco Belinelli won the 3-point contest, and Lillard and Utah rookie Trey Burke won the skills challenge for the West's two victories. Miami's Chris Bosh, Wilkins and WNBA star Swin Cash won the night's first event for the East, the shooting stars.

The league tried to jazz up All-Star Saturday for its return to New Orleans, with a number of tweaks to the format. Players were given an entire rack of money balls worth 2 points in the 3-point contest, which they could place at any of the five spots on the floor.

The skills challenge became a team relay format, but the biggest change was in the dunk contest, which was broken into two parts. The first was the freestyle portion, where the teams had 90 seconds to execute as many dunks as they could, before the three 1-on-1 matchups in the battle format.

The East had already clinched that part by winning the first two, but Wall made it a resounding shutout.

McLemore came out wearing a king's robe and trailed by O'Neal, who unveiled a "Shaq-Lemore" jersey. He made it over O'Neal's throne on his second attempt, and O'Neal presented him with a crown.

But moments later, Wall was the real king.

"The slam dunk has returned," said Erving, one of the NBA's most famed dunkers.

Before that, the new format was confusing to fans and the West players themselves. The East had it all figured out, winning the first stage with a passing and dunking display straight out the Harlem Globetrotters, capped by a three-man dunk where Ross threw if off the backboard to Wall, who lobbed it off the overhead shot clock for George to race in and slam it down.

That was just a warm-up for the second round, when Ross, the event's defending champion, started things off by edging Lillard with an assist on his dunk from rapper Drake.

Lillard was the first person to compete in three All-Star Saturday events, adding that to Friday's Rising Stars Challenge and Sunday's game to give him the most ambitious itinerary ever.

He started 2-for-2 by following Friday's victory by winning the skills challenge for the second straight year.

But his run was stopped when Belinelli made his final three shots to finish with 19 points, edging him by one to advance to the finals from the West. All-Stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Love both finished with 16 points.

Belinelli Wins 3-Point Contest

"I was happy to just be invited to all of them and be able to compete in them, and I wanted to win at least one. And I won the first one, and then I thought there would be some momentum to continue to try and win all three of them," Lillard said. "But I fell short in the 3-point contest, and as you all saw in the dunk contest, they kind of just outclassed us."

Bradley Beal had 21 points to win the East bracket over defending champion Kyrie Irving, Orlando's Arron Afflalo and Brooklyn All-Star Joe Johnson, who was shooting in slow motion and had three balls left on his final rack and just 11 points when time expired.

Beal then tied Belinelli to force a tiebreaker, and Belinelli won it by making six straight shots at one point, sweeping his fourth rack.

"I was a little bit nervous at the beginning and I think that I shot like two airballs," Belinelli said.

"But in the end I was focused. I really cared about this trophy."

Bosh, Wilkins and Cash won their second straight shooting stars title, with Bosh making a pair of halfcourt shots.

"I keep asking Coach to let me shoot that shot in the game," Bosh said of Miami's Erik Spoelstra. "He won't let me do it yet, but I think that today will give him confidence if he was watching."

The conferences split $500,000 in winnings for charity.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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mtuthill777 February 16 2014 at 2:15 AM

Where's the video so we can 'WATCH" it??????????

Flag Reply +1 rate up
verbal007 February 16 2014 at 9:30 AM

Please dear Lord,don't have Obama throw out first pitch this year for the Washington Nationals, anyone who throws a baseball like a girl can't bring nothing but bad luck for the team.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
jkstray verbal007 February 16 2014 at 7:02 PM

He was a lawyer. They study and figure out ways to screw people not how to play sports. So he is an expert at screwing. He would have to be to copulate with that prognathic creature he is married to.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
406 bobby February 16 2014 at 6:48 PM

....what were the ratings....2.0 nationally...cooking shows beat it..

Flag Reply 0 rate up
406 bobby February 16 2014 at 6:47 PM

...does anyone actually watch this worthless trash???

Flag Reply 0 rate up
bobparks77 February 16 2014 at 6:28 PM

Absolutely NOTHING more boring than pro basketball........except NASCAR.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
grgrytckr February 16 2014 at 6:28 PM

Where are the White Dudes?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
hlgrice grgrytckr February 16 2014 at 6:29 PM

You have to watch FOX for that....Good Q!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
bobparks77 grgrytckr February 16 2014 at 6:30 PM

Dey canst jump.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
grgrytckr February 16 2014 at 5:15 PM

Every black guys dream growing up . To dunk a basketball.

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1 reply
hlgrice grgrytckr February 16 2014 at 6:31 PM

Yeah....and who really cares other than Huff Post and MSNBC....

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Yaki February 16 2014 at 10:24 AM

Those dunks still can't touch Jordan's past dunks/
The NBA needs to stop bing in denial, the dunk contest is flat lined.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
jacktheweed February 16 2014 at 6:15 AM

that was lame my kids can do that look at in slow mo nothing to it.....

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
David S. jacktheweed February 16 2014 at 7:30 AM

I doubt that.......

Flag Reply +1 rate up
sportswhse February 16 2014 at 2:02 AM

That God baseball season is just a month away

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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