LOS ANGELES — Rookie Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz put on a show in the slam dunk contest to cap off NBA All-Star Saturday.
Mitchell edged Larry Nance Jr. by two points, sealing his victory with a close approximation of the 360-degree spin dunk that Vince Carter used to win the 2000 contest.
"I wanted this so badly," Mitchell said. "This is one of my favorite events of All-Star weekend. To not only be in it, but to win it, it's crazy."
Before making his winning dunk, Mitchell peeled off his Jazz jersey and wore a vintage Carter jersey from the Toronto Raptors.
Mitchell -- three inches shorter than the 6-foot-6 Carter -- needed a score of 47 to beat Nance, and he got a 48 from the five judges: DJ Khaled, Mark Wahlberg, Chris Rock and Hall of Famers Julius Erving and Lisa Leslie.
Nance, who was trying to win the contest 34 years after his father won it, had earned a perfect 50 with a dunk off a double alley-oop off the glass.
Mitchell advanced to the finals with a creative dunk in the first round that used his sister, Jordan, as well as Kevin Hart and the comedian's son as props. For that dunk, Mitchell wore a Darrell Griffith Jazz jersey. Griffith participated in the first slam dunk contest in 1984.
"I appreciate Kevin Hart coming out there and helping me out," Mitchell said. "He's my favorite comedian."
Booker wins 3-point contest with record final round
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns won the 3-point contest with a record 28 points in the final round. He beat 2016 champion Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Los Angeles Clippers.
"It feels really good," Booker said. "I wanted to go out there and make a name for myself."
Did he ever. He was sensational in the final round on Saturday, when he missed only five of 25 shots.
Each player shot five five-ball racks with a one-minute time limit. The final ball of each one was a "money ball" worth two points, and one of the racks, usually the last one, was all money balls. Booker made the money ball shot on his first four racks, and then made four of the five balls on the money ball rack.
Harris, Booker and Thompson advanced from the eight-man field to the finals. Harris scored 17 points before Booker scorched the nets for 28 points. Thompson followed and scored 25 points.
The previous record was 27 points, set by Stephen Curry in 2015 and matched by Thompson the following year.
Booker, the 21-year-old sharpshooter in his third season with Phoenix, is averaging 24.2 points per game this season as the NBA's 12th-leading scorer. Eleven months after the shooting guard dropped 70 points against Boston to become the youngest player in NBA history to score even 60 in a game, Booker added another accolade to his promising career with the 3-Point title.
Thompson beat the buzzer with his final shot of the first round to reach the finals with 19 points. Booker also scored 19 and Harris had 18.
Dinwiddie tops Markkanen in Skills Challenge final
Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets won the skills challenge to kick off NBA All-Star Saturday.
Dinwiddie, who played at Taft High in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, beat Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls in the final round.
The skills competition consisted of two players going head to head. They dribbled around pylons, passed the ball into a net, dribbled to the other end of the floor for a layup and then dribbled back to the other end to take a pull-up 3-pointer.
Eight players started the competition, with Dinwiddie and Markkanen advancing to the final.
Markkanen struggled passing the ball into the net, giving Dinwiddie a big lead. Dinwiddie dribbled down the floor and missed his first 3, but drained the next one to win.