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Dinwiddie, Booker, Mitchell winners in All-Star Weekend

Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, right, celebrates after winning the NBA basketball All-Star weekend slam dunk contest over Cleveland Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr., left, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, in Los Angeles. Photo by Chris Pizzello

By Zach Throne

The NBA held it’s All-Star festivities this past weekend in Los Angeles.

Events like the Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest, and Dunk Contest took place on Saturday as part of the entertainment for the fans.

The Skills Challenge is a competition of ball-handling, passing, and shooting.

The contestant is matched up with another contestant and has to try to finish the obstacle course before his opponent does.

Each competitor must weave back and forth between these cone-like objects, follow that up with a pass through a small ring, make a lay-up, dribble all the way to the other end, and finish the course with a made three.

The bracket consisted four big men and four guards. Lauri Markannen, rookie from the Chicago Bulls, made it from the big men side, and Spencer Dinwiddie, from the Brooklyn Nets, made it from the guard side.

In the end, Spencer Dinwiddie edged out Markannen to become the 2018 Skills Challenge Champion.

Next, was the Three-Point Contest, which was loaded with sharpshooters from across the league. Rockets Guard Eric Gordon was the reigning champ and was looking to bring home the title once again.

Previous winner Klay Thompson, of the Golden State Warriors, and Devin Booker, of the Phoenix Suns, had other plans, though. The two shooters lit up the gym with some impressive shooting to make it to the final along with Detroit Pistons’ Tobias Harris.

Booker proved to be victorious in the last round by scoring a record score of 28 points.

Otto Travieso, who is a student at Waldorf, had this to say about Booker: “I did not expect Devin Booker to win the Three Point Contest. That was a surprise.”

The finale, and most anticipated, event of the night was the Slam Dunk Contest.

There were only four competitors in this one: Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr., Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr., and Indiana Pacers’ Victor Oladipo.

Homage dunks were a regular on this night as the some of the competitors tried to pay tribute to previous Dunk Contest participants. Larry Nance Jr. dressed up like his dad, who was a former player. Donovan Mitchell wore a Darrell Griffith jersey and Vince Carter jersey during two of his dunks.

Although Smith did not make the finals, he still received high praise from fans for one of his dunks.

“My favorite dunk of the night was Smith’s 360 where he finished it with the left,” said Waldorf sophomore Ed Dominguez.

Nance and Mitchell put on a show, but only one could be ruled the winner. That person was Donovan Mitchell after his impressive 50 and 48 point dunks in the final round.

All in all, Saturday was a successful night for the NBA to show off some of its new talent and to remember some of its past. Generally, fans were happy with the performance put on display.