Griffin jumps car for dunk
Blake Griffin soared over an automobile and into a new stratosphere on Saturday with an awe-inspiring performance to win the NBA’s slam dunk contest. The Los Angeles Clippers rookie, who has created a frenzy this season with highlight reel dunks, caught a pass out of the sunroof from teammate Baron Davis and threw down a two-handed dunk while a choir sang I Believe I Can Fly at midcourt. Griffin entered the competition as the favorite to win, but it was Washington Wizards high-flyer JaVale McGee who created the biggest buzz in the opening round. The 2.13m used two baskets and then dunked with three basketballs during separate displays that earned him perfect scores from the judges. However, Blake prevailed in the final with a slam that saw him insert his forearm into the net and hang from the rim by his elbow before bringing the car onto the court. Earlier, Miami Heat sharpshooter James Jones crashed a Boston party by defeating Celtics team mates Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to win the three-point contest.
Sturm defends title
Felix Sturm successfully defended his WBA middleweight title by knocking out American challenger Ronald Hearns in the Porsche Arena on Saturday night. The referee stepped in to stop the fight at 2 minutes 30 seconds of the seventh round when Hearns — son of Thomas “Hitman” Hearns — was unable to stay on his feet after taking a couple of heavy blows in the corner. Sturm, a German of Bosnian parentage, weighed in at 72.4kg and was defending his title for the ninth time. Hearns, 72.2kg and also 32 years old, found no way past his defense.
Donaire takes WBO, WBC
Nonito Donaire won the WBO and WBC bantamweight championships on Saturday night, stopping Fernando Montiel with a left hook at 2 minutes and 25 seconds in the second round. Donaire, a Filipino-American who made his bantamweight debut in December, controlled most of the fight against the Mexican champion. He landed a left hook that briefly stunned Montiel in the first round and came out swinging in the second round, landing a few combinations before knocking Montiel to the canvas with another left hook.
Montiel surprisingly made it back to his feet only to have the referee stop the fight moments later.
Farah tops European record
British distance runner Mo Farah turned in a record-breaking performance as he warmed up for the defense of his European Indoor 3,000m crown in style on Saturday. The Somalia-born 27-year-old won the 5,000m in 13 minutes 10.60 seconds at the British Grand Prix Indoor meeting in Birmingham, to finish ahead of American training partner Galen Rupp, who clocked 13:11.44. Farah’s time shaved 0.53secs off the European record of 13:11.13 set by France’s Bouabdellah Tahri last year.
Baddeley bests Couples
Australia’s Aaron Baddeley fired a four-under par 67 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead at the PGA Northern Trust Open over veteran Fred Couples and US compatriot Kevin Na. Baddeley’s five birdies included three straight from the eighth hole. He gave one shot back with a bogey at the par-five 11th, but held steady the rest of the way in the changeable weather at Riviera Country Club for a 54-hole total of 10-under 203.