Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors dethroned defending champion Jeremy Evans of Utah to win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday in a worldwide vote on social media.
After a judging panel of retired NBA players that included Chinese legend Yao Ming narrowed the field to the finalists, Ross slammed two spectacular dunks through the rim to win 58 percent of fan votes via Twitter and Web sites.
“It’s a dream come true,” Ross said.
Evans opened with a windmill dunk over a covered painting, then lifted the cover to reveal his own painting of the dunk he had just performed.
Ross answered by making a running start from the side of the hoop, taking a ball bounced off the side of the backboard, catching it and then jamming it through the hoop — all while wearing a jersey bearing the name of former Raptor star Vince Carter.
Evans slammed in a one-handed dunk on a run from the side in response, but Ross finished by leaping over a ball boy, passing the ball between his legs and slamming it into the basket with his right hand.
Other winners in the All-Star festivities ahead of yesterday’s NBA All-Star Game were Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Three-Point Contest and Portland Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard in the Skills Challenge.
Yao and his fellow judges eliminated New York’s James White, Indiana’s Gerald Green, Denver’s Kenneth Faried and Eric Bledsoe of the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening round of the dunk contest.
Green and White missed on their second dunks, neither completing a move within the time limit.
Green had cut down the net to attempt two dunks with one ball on the same leap, missed every attempt, then managed the trick after the time limit had expired and the dunk did not count for the competition.
In the Three-Point Contest, Irving made 17 of his first 18 three-point attempts in the final round on his way to scoring 23 points and defeating San Antonio’s Matt Bonner, who finished with 20.
Irving scored 18 points in the preliminary round to advance past New York’s Steve Novak with 17 and Indiana’s Paul George with 10. Bonner had eliminated Golden State’s Stephen Curry with 17 and Ryan Anderson of New Orleans with 18.
Lillard outclassed a Skills Challenge lineup that included Houston’s Jeremy Lin and last year’s winner Tony Parker of San Antonio to win the obstacle course event in which players dribble, shoot and pass.
In the opening round, Lillard completed the course in 28.8 seconds to oust Taiwanese-American Lin and Frenchman Parker.
Lin completed the course in 35.8 seconds, while Parker struggled to finish in 48.7 seconds. Parker failed to match Dwyane Wade and Steve Nash as multiple winners in the decade-old event.
Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday, whose preliminary run of 29.3 seconds ousted Detroit’s Brandon Knight and Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, opened the final with 35.6 seconds, but Lillard followed in 29.8 seconds and punctuated the effort with a finishing slam dunk.