The 2021 NBA Slam Dunk contest was stuck at halftime of Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta as the league reduced its hastily planned All-Star weekend to one night.
Everything about the Slam Dunk contest, which typically ends an All-Star on Saturday, was different in 2021: there was one less participant than usual, the number of dunk attempts was reduced, and the final round judgment was not not based on points but rather on cheering. .
On top of that, the field included three players who are mostly unknown to fans: Knicks rookie Obi Toppin, Trail Blazers backup guard Anfernee Simons and two-way Pacers player Cassius Stanley.
Here are the results and highlights of the 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, as well as the 3-Point Contest and Skills Competition, which were played ahead of the game.
Who won the NBA Slam Dunk contest in 2021?
Anfernee Simons won the dunk competition, beating Obi Toppin 3-2 on score by the judges after the final round. Simons’ winning dunk wasn’t perfect (he tried to kiss the rim but ended up too far), but he was deemed better than Toppin between the legs, changing hands in the middle of the lane.
Highlights of the NBA Slam Dunk contest
It was kind of a lightning round: two dunks in the first round, one in the final. Five judges, all former dunk champions, scored in the first round but then voted for the winner in the final.
In the first set of dunks, Stanley and Toppin went between the legs, and Simons showed off his jumps by grabbing the ball as he sat on a Nerf hoop above the rectangle on the back panel.
For her second dunk, Simons busted the return of Tracy McGrady Raptors and a 360 dunk on the rebound. This earned him a 49 from the judges. Toppin needed two tries to jump over his father, Obi, and All-Star teammate Julius Randle, but he still got a 46.
Who won the NBA 3 point contest in 2021?
Stephen Curry beat Mike Conley on the last shot of the event, sinking the silver ball 2 points off the final grid for a 28-27 victory. Jayson Tatum of the Celtics was third in the six-man competition. Jaylen Brown of the Celtics, Zach LaVine of the Bulls and Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz did not advance to the final.
Highlights of the NBA contest in 3 points
Conley was second in the final round and put the pressure on Curry with a second 27 in a row.
After Curry missed his first four shots from the first rack, it looked like Jazz’s guard was heading for a Warriors sniper upset. But then Wardell went to work. He finished 9 for his last 11 and 4 for 5 on the final grid. He needed to hit his last two shots for the win. Snap. Snap.
Curry set a record in the first round with a 31. Watch some of those shots barely touch the net.
He had to be at his best as Conley dropped 27 and Tatum totaled 25 to advance to the second round.
NBA Skills Competition Results
The Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis made it through the first event, defeating the Knicks’ Julius Randle, Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and Magic’s Nikola Vucevic in one-on-one ball handling, passing accuracy and shooting tests. Vucevic knocked down the Suns’ Chris Paul in the second round to earn a place in the final.