Archive for Sunday, February 15, 2009

Robinson king of dunks

February 15, 2009

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— Call him Krypto-Nate.

Nate Robinson tugged on Superman’s cape — and won.

The diminutive New York Knicks guard beat defending champion Dwight Howard of Orlando in an electrifying slam dunk contest Saturday night, winning 52 percent of fans’ votes.

Clad in an all-green Knicks uniform with green shoes, Robinson used Howard as a prop in the final round, springboarding over the 6-foot-11 center to jam.

“Dwight was a great sport letting me dunk over him,” said the 5-foot-9 Robinson, who also won in 2006.

Howard, who scored a perfect 50 on both of his first-round dunks, performed the most theatrical dunk of the night in the first round.

He disappeared into a phone booth just off the court, emerging with a Superman cape.

Howard waved his arms to the crowd as an 11-foot basket was wheeled onto the floor. Howard took a bounce pass from teammate Jameer Nelson and tomahawked a dunk as U.S. Airways Center exploded.

Robinson had fired up fans by leaping off the back of teammate Wilson Chandler, who crouched on all fours in the lane, and jamming, drawing applause from longtime Knicks fan Spike Lee.

“I got the championship back to New York City,” Robinson said.

Portland’s Rudy Fernandez and Denver’s J.R. Smith were eliminated in the first round.

Earlier, Miami’s Daequan Cook connected over and over again when the Three-Point Shootout went to an extra session.

When the long-distance contest went to overtime, Cook found his stroke.

The Heat guard posted the best total of the competition with 19 points in the extra round, cruising past Orlando’s Rashard Lewis to win the title and end Jason Kapono’s two-year run as king of one of All-Star Saturday’s marquee events. Lewis sputtered in the third session, missing his first 11 shots to finish with seven points.

Cook had forced overtime by hitting his final four shots in the second round of the six-man competition.

Chicago’s Derrick Rose capped his Skills Challenge victory with a double-pump reverse dunk.

In the H-O-R-S-E competition, Kevin Durant capped his All-Star weekend with an amazing comeback to beat O.J. Mayo and Joe Johnson.

Durant faced early elimination after quickly picking up four letters while struggling with his shot outdoors. Mayo had only two letters after knocking out Johnson with an array of shots that included a bucket from the stands, a left-handed jumper and an underhanded free throw.

Durant then began to hit from long range, just as he did Friday when he scored a Rookie Challenge-record 46 points to lead the NBA’s sophomores to a 122-116 victory over the rookies.

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