Jones, Lenard overtake the champs on All-Star Saturday
=== Jones, Lenard overtake the champs on All-Star Saturday ===
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Indiana’s Fred Jones knocked off Jason
Richardson to capture the slam-dunk competition and Denver’s Voshon Lenard
upset Peja Stojakovic in the three-point contest during the NBA’s All-Star
Saturday night 2004 festivities at Staples Center.
New Orleans’ Baron Davis won the Skills Challenge and the Los Angeles Lakers
team claimed the Shooting Stars competition.
Jones defeated Richardson by default in the slam-dunk event after both dunkers
missed on their final try, spoiling Richardson’s bid to become the first-ever
player to win the event three straight times. Michael Jordan and Dominique
Wilkins are the only other two men to win the contest twice.
The slam-dunk contest was broken down into two rounds. In the first round
each contestant got two tries and the composite score was used to determine
the top two that advanced to the finals. In the final round, each person again
got two dunks and the person with the highest total was the winner.
Boston’s Ricky Davis scored a 76 out of a possible 100 in his two first-round
dunks despite missing his second try, while Denver’s Chris Andersen totaled 88
points in his two dunks.
Jones finished with 92 out of 100 points after his two successful jams. The
Oregon high flyer’s first dunk received a 50 after he bounced the ball off the
ground and threw down a one-handed tomahawk slam.
Richardson totaled the highest score in the opening round as he got 95
points, including a 50 on his second attempt. Richardson’s second dunk had the
entire building in awe after he threw the ball off the backboard, put it
his legs in mid-air and then threw down a monstrous one-handed slam.
In the finals, Jones began with an incredible dunk that garnered 50 points. He
began at the three-point line, bounced the ball off the floor, then reached
back and threw down a thunderous one-handed jam.
Richardson then tried a dunk where he started at the baseline and put the ball
through his legs as he spun in the air, but he was unsuccessful on numerous
attempts and forced to do a simpler jam that earned a 45.
However, both players then missed their next attempt and Jones was awarded the
win by virtue of his higher point total.
Jones tried to incorporate the audience as he had a fan wearing an Indiana
jersey in the crowd throw a bounce pass that Jones tried to grab and throw
down. He could not cleanly grab the ball, though, and the ball slid off his
hands and went through the hoop, earning him a score of 36 for his effort and
a two-dunk total of 86 points.
The Warriors’ Richardson then missed a 360 degree attempt where he tried to
put his elbow through the rim and he received 33 points for a two-dunk total
of 78 points.
Jones took home $25,000, Richardson received $15,000, while Davis and
Andersen each grabbed $10,000.
Lenard won the three-point shootout as he knocked off the two-time
defending champion Stojakovic, spoiling the sharpshooter’s bid to join Larry
Bird and Craig Hodges as the only players to win the event three consecutive
There were five racks with each rack containing five balls and the players had
one minute to shoot as many of the balls as possible. The orange balls
were all worth one point, while the red, white and blue balls (money balls)
were worth two points each.
The three highest scores in the first round advanced to the finals. The
Kings’ Stojakovic finished with the highest total with 21 points,
Philadelphia’s Kyle Korver scored 19, including hitting nine straight, and
Lenard netted 18 points to all move on.
In the finals, Korver scored 15 points, Stojakovic netted 16 and Lenard won
the event with 18 points. Stojakovic had a chance to tie Lenard at 18 if he
made all five shots in the final rack, but he missed his money ball, thwarting
his bid to three-peat.
Seattle’s Rashard Lewis went for 16 points and a fourth-place finish, Cuttino
Mobley of the Rockets finished the contest in fifth place with 13, while
Detroit’s Chauncey Billups ended in sixth with 12.
Lenard received $25,000 as the champion, Stojakovic got $15,000 for the
runner-up spot and Korver took home $10,000 for finishing third. Lewis, Mobley
and Billups each grabbed $2,500 for their efforts.
The Lakers’ team of guard Derek Fisher, three-time WNBA All-Star MVP and
Sparks center Lisa Leslie and Lakers legend Magic Johnson won the inaugural
Shooting Stars competition. The LA Lakers squad had a winning time of 43.9
seconds and pocketed $30,000 for the win.
The event, which was a four-team event comprised of an NBA player, WNBA player
and NBA legend, featured six shooting locations of increasing difficulty with
the last shot coming from half court.
San Antonio’s team of guard Manu Ginobili, recently retired San Antonio Silver
Stars guard Jennifer Azzi and former NBA star Steve Kerr finished second with
a time of 46 seconds, while the Los Angeles Clippers’ squad of guard Marko
Jaric, Sparks guard Nikki Teasley and NBA legend Terry Cummings ended third
with a time of 49.8 seconds. The Detroit team consisting of Billups, Detroit
Shock forward and 2003 WNBA Rookie of the Year Cheryl Ford, and NBA legend
John Salley ended fourth as they made all six shots in 1:05.
In the second annual Skills Challenge, Davis won the competition and claimed
$25,000, while Fisher came in second place. Denver’s Earl Boykins finished
third and Stephon Marbury of the Knicks finished fourth.
The event, which was two rounds, was a timed obstacle course that consisted of
dribbling, passing and shooting stations.
After the first round, the top-two times made it to the finals. Davis posted
the best time in the opening round finishing the course in 28.7 seconds, while
Fisher clocked in with a time of 31.6 seconds. In the finals, Davis won the
competition with a time of 31.6 seconds.
The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday night.