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story.lead_photo.caption Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr. won the NBA Slam Dunk contest Saturday at the United Center in Chicago, defeating Orlando’s Aaron Gordon in the final round. (AP/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO -- Aaron Gordon lost another epic dunk contest. And it was by a couple of inches -- namely, the top of Tacko Fall's head.

Derrick Jones Jr. finally got his long-awaited dunk contest title as an exclamation point to an epic All-Star Saturday Night, both for him and the Miami Heat. Jones and Gordon needed two extra dunks apiece in the final round before deciding a winner, Jones Jr. prevailing 48-47 in the one that determined who left with the trophy.

Miami's Bam Adebayo won the skills title as well, and Sacramento's Buddy Hield took the three-point crown. Their wins were absolute, there was no ambiguity: the ball going in told the tale. The dunk contest -- much like the one between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins in Chicago 32 years earlier -- came down to the judges' call.

Dwyane Wade was one of the judges and he said he wanted to have co-dunk contest winners but that the judges were told they had to pick a winner.

And when Gordon, the Orlando forward who fell to Zach LaVine in an unforgettable dunk contest at Toronto four years ago, picked the 7-foot-5 Fall to come out for his last dunk -- Fall played college basketball in Orlando at UCF -- it was the ultimate risk-reward moment.

Gordon, who wanted to jump over the slightly shorter-than-Fall Shaquille O'Neal but got his invitation declined, decided to bring Fall out and needed a 49 to win. But he didn't totally clear Fall, and the judges gave him a 47. Just like that, the Miami forward was the champion.

"Tallest dude in the gym." Gordon said. "Jumping over somebody 7-5 and dunking it, it's no easy feat. What'd I get, a 47? Come on, man. What are we doing?"

The first round was full of props: Jones -- celebrating his 23rd birthday -- had a birthday cake and Adebayo on the court for his first dunk, Gordon went over Chicago native Chance The Rapper for a slam, Milwaukee's Pat Connaughton leaped over Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo and kissed the ball off the glass before his second dunk, and the Los Angeles Lakers' Dwight Howard brought back his Superman dunk from years ago as well.

Adebayo drew Spencer Dinwiddie of Brooklyn in the first round, having no problem with the accurate pass into a tight window, layup and three-pointer that, to win, need to be made before an opponent completes the same course. Same thing in the second round, Adebayo finished off Toronto's Pascal Siakam without a miss once again to advance to the final.

It came down to big men: Adebayo against Indiana's Domantas Sabonis. It took three tries for Adebayo to make his three-pointer to win, and he still wound up beating Sabonis to the final make. Sabonis felt he rushed his second shot, and that gave Adebayo a leg up.

The three-point contest came down to Hield, Booker and Washington's Davis Bertans after five others -- including defending champion Joe Harris -- were knocked out in the first round.

Saturday’s results

At United Center, Chicago

DUNK CONTEST

FIRST ROUND

PLAYER, TEAM SCORE

Aaron Gordon, Orlando...............50-50—100 Derrick Jones Jr., Miami................46-50—96 Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee........45-50—95 Dwight Howard, LA Lakers............41-49—90

FINALS

PLAYER, TEAM SCORE

Derrick Jones Jr., Miami...50-50-50-48—198 Aaron Gordon, Orlando....50-50-50-47—197

THREE-POINT CONTEST

FIRST ROUND

Top three advance

PLAYER, TEAM PTS

Devin Booker, Phoenix.................................27 Buddy Hield, Sacramento............................27 Davis Bertans, Washington.........................26 Zach Lavine, Chicago...................................23 Joe Harris, Brooklyn....................................22 Duncan Robinson, Miami............................19 Devonte Graham, Charlotte.........................18 Trae Young, Atlanta......................................15

FINALS

PLAYER, TEAM PTS

Buddy Hield, Sacramento............................27 Devin Booker, Phoenix.................................26 Davis Bertans, Washington.........................22

ALL-STAR SKILLS CHALLENGE

FIRST ROUND

Bam Adebayo, Miami, def. Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn

Pascal Siakam, Toronto, def. Patrick Beverley (Arkansas Razorbacks), LA Clippers

Khris Middleton, Milwaukee, def. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City

Domantas Sabonis, Indiana, def. Jayson Tatum, Boston

SEMIFINALS

Adebayo def. Siakam

Sabonis def. Middleton

FINALS

Adebayo def. Sabonis

Today’s All-Star Game

WHEN 7 p.m. Central

WHERE United Center, Chicago

TV TNT

ROSTERS

TEAM LEBRON

STARTERS LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic, James Harden

RESERVES Damian Lillard (injured, will not play), Ben Simmons, Nikola Jokic, Jayson Tatum, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Domantas Sabonis, Devin Booker

TEAM GIANNIS

STARTERS Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker, Trae Young

RESERVES Khris Middleton, Bam Adebayo, Rudy Gobert, Kyle Lowry, Brandon Ingram, Donovan Mitchell

Sports on 02/16/2020

Print Headline: Gordon takes a Fall, but Heat forward claims dunk title

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