Heat star Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash won their third consecutive shooting stars competition to kick off All-Star Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Wilkins, the 55-year-old former Atlanta Hawks star, hit a half-court shot after 57.6 seconds in the final round to seal Team Bosh’s three-peat. They topped Russell Westbrook, Anfernee Hardaway and Tamika Catchings in the final round, when Team Westbrook ran out of time after 90 seconds.
Houston’s Patrick Beverley came from behind to beat Fort Lauderdale Pinecrest graduate Brandon Knight of the Milwaukee Bucks in the final round of the skills competition. The Rockets’ defensive specialist, who replaced Washington’s John Wall in the dribbling, passing and shooting competition, made a three-pointer to clinch the win.
Unlike in the past, two players competed against each other in a bracket-style format for the skills challenge. Beverley bested Atlanta’s Jeff Teague in the semifinals. Knight overtook Toronto’s Kyle Lowry in the other semifinal.
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In the shooting stars contest, Stephen Curry and his father, former NBA player Dell Curry, and WNBA star Sue Bird were knocked out in the opening round along with Paul Millsap, Scottie Pippen and Elena Delle Donne.
▪ Slam dunk contest: Minnesota’s Zach Lavine put on a spectacular aerial display to take home the dunk competition during All-Star Saturday night.
LaVine, the 19-year-old Timberwolves rookie, scored a perfect 100 in the opening round highlighted by a through-the-legs, one-handed reverse slam on his first attempt. He had a final-round score of 94 to overtake Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, who struggled to convert his first attempt and finished with a 72 in the championship round.
▪ Three-point contest: Stephen Curry bested Warriors teammate Klay Thompson and six others to win his first three-point contest during All-Star Saturday night.
Curry scored 27 points in the final round. He connected on 13 consecutive shots until missing his final attempt, bringing fans and celebrities roaring to their feet after every swish.
Thompson, who had an opening-round best of 24, scored only 14 points in the final round. Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving finished second with 17 points in the finals.
▪ Hall of Fame: Kentucky coach John Calipari, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and four-time Defensive Player of the Year Dikembe Mutombo are among the finalists for this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.
Former Heat star Tim Hardaway also was chosen as a finalist, as were former NBA stars Spencer Haywood and Jo Jo White. They join former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, longtime referee Dick Bavetta, and two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch among the class of 2015 hopefuls.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan and high school coaches Robert Hughes and Lita Andrews rounded out the 12 finalists.
The class will be announced at an April 6 news conference before the NCAA championship game, when Calipari’s team might be playing. The top-ranked Wildcats were 25-0 after beating South Carolina on Saturday night.
Johnson was a three-time All-Star point guard with the Phoenix Suns who led the charge to keep his hometown team in Sacramento after moving into politics.
Haywood won an NBA championship with the Lakers, and White was a seven-time All-Star who won two titles with Boston.