Feb 18, 2023; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Mac McClung (9) dunks in the Dunk Contest during the 2023 All Star Saturday Night at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NBA All-Star Saturday Night Recap: Team Jazz captures Skills Challenge, Damian Lillard takes 3-Point Contest, Mac McClung wins Slam Dunk Contest

NBA All-Star Saturday Night certainly did not disappoint, with a great night of action capped by a thrilling Slam Dunk Contest.

Homecourt advantage proved to be quite helpful for Team Jazz players Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton, and Walker Kessler, who won the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Playing at Vivint Arena, Team Jazz beat Team Rooks and Team Antetokounmpos by scoring 300 points, including 200 points in the shooting competition.

The three teams competed in a relay race before moving on to the passing and shooting events.

Three 2022 lottery picks — Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero, Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivey and Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. — played on Team Rooks.

Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday replaced injured teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo (wrist) and played with two Antetokounmpo brothers — Thanasis and Alex — on Team Antetokounmpos, while Clarkson, Sexton, and Kessler of the host Utah Jazz rounded out the field.

Team Jazz earned 100 points by winning the passing competition and 200 for the shooting competition, while Team Rooks tallied 100 points for the relay race. Team Antetokounmpos was held scoreless.

Up next was the 3-Point Contest, where Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard scored 26 points in the final round to claim his first title.

Lillard edged out Indiana Pacers guards Buddy Hield (25 points) and Tyrese Haliburton (17) to become the first Trail Blazers player to win the title.

Lillard competed in 2014 and 2019 but was eliminated in the first round both times. He scored 26 points to finish second in the first round on Saturday.

Haliburton tied the NBA All-Star 3-Point Contest record in Round 1 with 31 points, including two “Starry” shots worth three points each.

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro, Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter, and Boston Celtics guard Jayson Tatum were all eliminated in the first round.

Lillard, who is shooting 37.2% from 3-point range this season, was the second shooter in the final round. He followed Hield, who won the contest in 2020.

In the nightcap of All-Star Saturday Night, Mac McClung dazzled the crowd with three of his four dunks earning a perfect score of 50 to win the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest.

McClung, who was signed from the G-League to a two-way contract by the Philadelphia 76ers last week, won the contest by a score of 100-99 over New Orleans Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III.

Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. and New York Knicks forward Jericho Sims were eliminated after the first round.

The 6-foot-2 McClung made a statement when he received a perfect 50 score with his first attempt. The dunk featured him grabbing the ball while hurdling two people and tapping the ball off the glass before finishing with two hands.

On his second dunk, McClung earned a 49.8 with a two-handed 360 that gave him the highest combined first-round score.

McClung, who won an All-American high school dunk contest in 2018, has only played in two NBA games in his career.

Murphy recorded a 49.2 on his final dunk before watching McClung seal the victory with another perfect dunk.

–Field Level Media contributed to this story

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