For the second time in five years, Aaron Gordon fell just short of the Dunk Contest crown in extra dunks, as he and Derrick Jones Jr. dueled in an instant classic on Saturday night in Chicago.
After some impressive dunks in the first round — and Jones narrowly beating out Pat Connaughton to make the finals — both post back-to-back perfect 50s to force extra dunks, just like in Toronto against Zach LaVine for Gordon. Both also had 50s on their first extra dunk making it five 50s on the night for Gordon. On their final dunks, both were knocked for various things, but Jones Jr.’s windmill from just inside the free throw line edged Gordon’s dunk over 7’5 Tacko Fall by one.
That dunk over Fall may not have gotten him the win, but will be one of the most memorable of the night, as Gordon had the crowd and players in a frenzy as he cleared the massive Celtics center.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) February 16, 2020
It was not some planned dunk, but a pretty tremendous moment of inspiration and, thanks to the coaxing of the entire crowd at the United Center, Tacko agreed to stand there despite saying after he was “scared sh*tless,” per John Karalis.
I just talked to Tacko. I walked to to him and he said "I was scared shitless"
— John Karalis 🇬🇷 (@RedsArmy_John) February 16, 2020
Luckily for Tacko, he was not hurt in the making of the best dunk contest since the LaVine-Gordon classic in Toronto, but unfortunately for Gordon, he wasn’t given the win he felt he deserved for his performance.