NBA

Mac McClung dunks over Shaq, wins 2nd Slam Dunk Contest

Feb 17, 2024, 9:38 PM

Mac McClung...

Mac McClung #0 of the Osceola Magic participates in the 2024 AT&T Slam Dunk contest during the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 17, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) β€” G-League champion Mac McClung won his second straight Slam Dunk Contest by grabbing the ball out of Shaquille O’Neal’s hands and leaping over him to draw five perfect scores on his final attempt.

McClung finished with 98.8 points on his final two dunks, one point ahead of Boston Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown.

McClung became the sixth player to win the contest twice and the first to do it in back-to-back seasons since Zach LaVine in 2015 and 2016.

He needed a big score after Brown drew an average of 49.2 on his final dunk over another person with a sequin glove covering the left hand he used.

McClung jumped over two people in his first dunk of the final round. Brown paid tribute to the late Terrence Clark, a Massachusetts prep star who died in a car crash at age 19 in April 2021.

Damian Lillard wins 3-point contest

Milwaukee Bucks star Damian Lillard defended his NBA 3-point contest title by finishing with 26 points in the final round during All-Star Saturday night.

Lillard, who won with Portland last season, became the eighth player to win at least two 3-point crowns and the first since Jason Kapono in 2007 and 2008 to do it in consecutive years.

This one nearly ended without Lillard advancing to the final round. Four players β€” Lillard, Tre Young of Atlanta, Tyrese Haliburton of Indiana and Karl Anthony-Towns of Minnesota β€” finished in a tie for the three spots in the last round. Haliburton was eliminated in the tiebreaking round with 12 points.

Then in the final, Young and Towns each put up 24 points, giving Lillard a chance to win it with a late shooting flurry that gave him the title.

The final event of the night, the Slam Dunk Contest, was set to begin later.

Skills challenge

Haliburton, a two-time All-Star, made the tiebreaking half-court shot with 20.5 seconds left in a timed contest Saturday night to give Team Pacers the NBA’s Skills Challenge crown over Team All-Stars.

Haliburton, Myles Turner and Bennedict Mathurin teamed up to win the night’s first two competitions β€” the team relay and the passing competition β€” at Lucas Oil Stadium, just a short walk from their home arena.

Team All-Stars’ win in the shooting contest tied the score at 200, forcing the tiebreaker.

It took Team All-Stars 58.8 seconds to make its first half-court shot. Haliburton needed just 38.3 seconds for a win that continued a big weekend for the Pacers, who are hosting their first All-Star weekend since 1985.

Mathurin was selected MVP of Friday night’s Rising Stars game after leading Team Jalen past Team Detlef, a game that pitted two former Pacers players as coaches β€” Jalen Rose and Detlef Schrempf.

Stephen Curry vs. Sabrina Ionescu

Stephen Curry was on a roll β€” and it was barely enough to beat Sabrina Ionescu.

And fittingly, he won by three.

The Golden State star and NBA’s all-time 3-point king beat Ionescu 29-26 in the Steph vs. Sabrina competition at All-Star Saturday night, the first such him-vs.-her event of its kind at the league’s weekend showcase.

β€œFor us to deliver a show like that, it was perfect,” Curry said. β€œAs much excitement as you can build in that short amount of time with two great shooters going at it. This is something we’ll remember for a long time.”

Ionescu went first and made 18-of-27 shots β€” starting 7-for-7. Some of them were worth one point, some worth two, giving her a total of 26 points.

She shot from the NBA 3-point line, which is roughly 12 to 18 inches farther from the basket than the WNBA line, depending on the area of the floor. Ionescu used a WNBA ball, which is slightly smaller than the NBA ball Curry used.

Curry had to rally a bit at the end, making nine of his last 10 to finish off the win.

Combined, they shot 39-for-54 (72%) in a contest.

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Mac McClung dunks over Shaq, wins 2nd Slam Dunk Contest