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NBA

NBA All-Star 2020: Derrick Jones Jr. edges Aron Gordon in epic Slam Dunk Contest

Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon put on a show for the ages in Chicago, in an epic back-and-forth battle in the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest.

Reminiscent of Gordon's duel with Zach LaVine in the 2016 Dunk Contest, the pair had the crowd on their feet in Chicago, with both players' creativity and athleticism on full display.

Jones Jr. and Gordon each scored a perfect 50 for their dunks in the final, with the pair going into a dunk-off to decide the winner.

For his last dunk, Jones Jr. launched from just inside the free-throw line, throwing down an emphatic windmill which the judges awarded a 48, leaving Gordon a chance to win his first dunk title in three attempts.

Gordon brought out the big guns for his final dunk attempt. After trying to convince Shaquille O'Neal to join him on court, he turned to 7-foot-5 Boston Celtics centre Tacko Fall, leaping over the big man in style.

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelbourne, the dunk was not planned, with Fall saying "I was scared for my life."

The judges awarded Gordon a 47 for his efforts, leaving Jones Jr. with the narrowest of victories - the final score count was 198-197 to Jones Jr.

"That dunk that Aaron did was very difficult," Jones said. "[Tacko Fall] is a very tall dude. If I would have thought of it earlier, I would have did it."

Gordon has now lost three times in the Dunk Contest, two in nail-biting finishes, indicating after the event that he was done with the Dunk Contest.

"It's a wrap, bro," Gordon told reporters. "I feel like I should have two trophies....Jumping over somebody 7'5" and dunking is no easy feat. What did I get, like a 47? Come on man. What are we doing?"

Here's the breakdown of the scores:

First Round

Aaron Gordon: 50-50

Derrick Jones Jr.: 46-50

Pat Connaughton: 45-50

Dwight Howard: 41-49

Final Round

Aaron Gordon: 50-50

Derrick Jones Jr.: 50-50

Dunk-Off

Derrick Jones Jr.: 50-48

Aaron Gordon: 50-47

There were perfect scores throughout the Contest, with Gordon posting six 50s, while Jones Jr. had four. Milwaukee Bucks high-flyer Pat Connaughton recorded a 50 for his dunk over teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Connaughton takes flight

Connaughton left Antetokounpo in disbelief with his second dunk of the night as he cleared the Greek Freak before tapping the ball against the backboard and jamming it home.

Check out Giannis' reaction:

He jumped over a pair of MVP's in Chicago, leaping over Major League Baseball MVP Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, which received a 45 from the judges.

Superman returns

Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard returned to the Dunk Contest for the first time since 2008, bringin back his Superman cape, while paying tribute to Kobe Bryant with a #24 across the Superman S.

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