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Derrick Jones Jr. Wins 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest; Full Scores and Reaction

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 16, 2020

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 15: Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat participates in the 2020 NBA All-Star - AT&T Slam Dunk on February 15, 2020 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. defeated Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon in an epic duel Saturday to win the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest in Chicago's United Center.

Jones Jr. and Gordon advanced to the finals out of a four-person group that also included Milwaukee Bucks swingman Pat Connaughton and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.

Once there, Jones Jr. and Gordon turned it up a notch and earned perfect 50-score dunks, leading to a two-slam dunk-off to decide the winner.

Jones Jr. and Gordon both received 50s to start the round, but the Heat forward bested Gordon 48-47 in their final slams to win.

Gordon is now a tough-luck loser in two legendary slam dunk contests after losing to then-Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine in 2016. The Magic forward had perfect scores on his first five dunks on Saturday.

Here's a look at the scores for all the dunks, the best highlights and reaction to a slam dunk contest that should go down as one of the best in NBA history.

     

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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

     

Highlights

Each of the four contestants contributed at least one noteworthy dunk.

Dwight Howard paid homage to late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant as well as his own Superman dunk from the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest with this move:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

SUPERMAN RETURNS. 24 tribute to Kobe 💜💛 #ATTSlamDunk https://t.co/dRXjXCcB0p

Howard brought back ex-Orlando Magic teammate Jameer Nelson to serve the lob, just like he did 12 years ago.

Connaughton got a little help from his friends, too, when he asked Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo to assist on a dunk.

The Bucks shooting guard then proceeded to grab the ball from his teammate, jump over Antetokounmpo, hit the backboard and slam it home in one fell swoop:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Pat hit the backboard before dunking.. 50 ball. #ATTSlamDunk https://t.co/CVgA4RE67V

Both of those dunks earned 50s, but the night belonged to Gordon and Jones Jr.

The Heat forward went into Airplane Mode for his first attempt, which occurred just after he brought a birthday cake on the court to celebrate his 23rd.

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

Happy Birthday @TheRea1DJones! 🎂✈️ https://t.co/Hh8z827vx8

Credit Heat teammate and All-Star center Bam Adebayo with the assist. 

Jones one-upped himself with a 360-degree tornado reverse through his legs:

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

@TheRea1DJones Perfection. Derrick Jones, Jr. is about to go toe to toe with Aaron Gordon for the trophy. Let's do this! https://t.co/6DRP7dAuBf

But Gordon was up to the task.

He got the crowd going with a between-the-legs reverse slam for his first of five 50s:

NBA @NBA

@NBAonTNT AG opens with a BANG! #ATTSlamDunk https://t.co/Y2xLoHfVVA

Then Chance the Rapper got involved. He got the assist to Gordon for another 50, leading to the finals. 

Orlando Magic @OrlandoMagic

@Double0AG "The people's champ must be everything the people can't be." @Double0AG | @chancetherapper | #MagicAboveAll https://t.co/avmyUdXxiO

Both players left it all on the floor in that round, engaging in one of the better duels in history.

Jones Jr. took jumping over someone to another level by going through his legs and adding an extra person for his leap:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

DJJ. BETWEEN THE LEGS. OVER TWO PEOPLE. #ATTSlamDunk https://t.co/F4Mg4DrITQ

He also went over one of his helpers to throw down a slam off the backboard:

NBA @NBA

OFF THE BACKBOARD. THROUGH THE LEGS. WITH AUTHORITY. DJJ throws down ANOTHER 50 in #ATTSlamDunk! #StateFarmSaturday on @NBAonTNT https://t.co/gvbuGLs7Lc

Undeterred, Gordon enlisted help from Chance the Rapper once again:

Orlando Magic @OrlandoMagic

@Double0AG TikTok, A.G. got a 50 on lock. @Double0AG | #MagicAboveAll https://t.co/2cFaxj1RBx

And that was before he threw down one of the best dunks in contest history in a move that defies description:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Aaron Gordon deserves an 800 for this dunk. Might be one of the best ever. #ATTSlamDunk https://t.co/P1lNLqOrHH

That tied the score at 100 through the finals, leading to a dunk-off.

Somehow, both players had energy for more eye-popping dunks, with Jones leading off with this effort:

NBA @NBA

@NBAonTNT DJJ with another INSANE jam. https://t.co/8dQZjOgZaH

Gordon responded with another 50 dunk with Chance the Rapper's help:

NBA @NBA

@NBAonTNT Aaron Gordon has FIVE 50s. 😱 https://t.co/yTf7hHCcVO

At this point, it was announced that the result would go to a "judges' decision" if the score was still tied following the second slam of the dunk-off.

The 50-point streak finally ended after Jones Jr.'s 48 to start it off:

NBA @NBA

DJJ with the 48! #ATTSlamDunk #StateFarmSaturday @NBAonTNT https://t.co/00imNrVny0

And then somehow, Gordon didn't get a 50 for dunking over 7'5" Tacko Fall:

Orlando Magic @OrlandoMagic

"𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐮𝐧𝐤 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 (𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙) 𝐰𝐢𝐧." @Double0AG | #MagicAboveAll https://t.co/SltG5wUniI

He finished one point short at 47, giving Jones Jr. the victory.

         

Reaction

Jones Jr. was simply exceptional, and he posted one of the best performances of all time.

But Gordon's 2020 efforts may have topped his 2016 dunks, which may have been the best the game has ever seen until this year.

Josh Robbins of The Athletic was in disbelief that Gordon got a 47 on his last dunk:

Josh Robbins @JoshuaBRobbins

Tacko Fall measured 7' 7" in shoes at the 2019 Draft Combine, per the NBA's measurements. Aaron Gordon jumped over him on the second dunk-off -- and received a 47 out of 50.

Bleacher Report and The Ringer wondered what Gordon needed to do to win:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

What Aaron Gordon would’ve had to do to win the dunk contest #ATTSlamDunk https://t.co/qmDxMU69NN

#RingerNBA @ringernba

Aaron Gordon could jump over a space shuttle with a set of medieval armor on and he'd still probably lose :(

NBA All-Stars weighed in, with Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid supporting Gordon:

Joel Embiid @JoelEmbiid

AG GOT ROBBED AGAIN #BS

But both players were exceptional, and Lakers superstar LeBron James said two trophies should have been awarded:

LeBron James @KingJames

2 🏆 should have been rewarded tonight that’s for damn sure!! Keep it a buck y’all. 🤦🏾‍♂️!! Them boys both put on a show! Professional DUNKERS

Gordon said afterward that his Slam Dunk Contest career is over:

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver

After controversial losses in 2016 and 2020 Slam Dunk Contests, Magic’s Aaron Gordon says he’s done with the event for good: “It’s a wrap, bro. I feel like I should have two trophies.” https://t.co/XlggS3aDc1

He can make a case for going down as the best competitor the contest has ever seen, or at least the greatest since Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins were dueling in the late 1980s.

But the night ultimately belonged to Derrick "Airplane Mode" Jones Jr., who became the first Heat player to win the award since Harold Miner in 1993.

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