CHICAGO — The boos were loud as confusion set in throughout the crowd.
Derrick Jones Jr. claimed the Slam Dunk Contest title, out-dueling Aaron Gordon in a thrilling triple-overtime dunk-off. Jones’ final slam received a score of 48 to barely beat out Gordon’s score of 47. Gordon’s final dunk saw him leap over 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall to get the crowd on its feet and send fellow NBA stars on the sidelines into a frenzy. But it wasn’t enough to appease the five-judge panel.
Gordon also lost the 2016 dunk contest in similarly heartbreaking fashion to Zach Levine.
“It’s a wrap, bro,” Gordon told reporters afterwards. “I feel like I should have two trophies.”
There was no shortage of perfect scores on Saturday night. Gordon had six, two in the first round, two in the second and then two in the dunk-off rounds.
Jones was celebrating his birthday, and he did it in style, with his second dunk of the night wowing the crowd when he did a walking 360. Then his third dunk of the night was a between the legs slam after he leaped over two people. His between-the-legs off the side of the backboard and reverse between the legs dunks in the dunk-off rounds also electrified the crowd.
The five-judge panel consisted of former Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen, former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wayde, WNBA star Candace Parker, rapper Common, and Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman.
Follow Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.