TORONTO (AP) - Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine outlasted Orlando's Aaron Gordon in an epic final round of the dunk contest, posting four straight perfect 50s to win for the second straight year.
LaVine and Gordon matched each other dunk for dunk for the first two tries in the final round. Then needed two rounds of tie-breakers to decide a winner.
LaVine said afterward he "had to bring my A-plus-plus-plus game'' in order to win.
LaVine ended it with a between-the-legs dunk from a step inside the free throw line to become just the fourth player to win back-to-back titles.
Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors beat teammate and defending champ Stephen (STEH'-fihn) Curry to win the 3-point contest.
Thompson scored 27 points in the final round, making his last eight shots to beat Curry and Phoenix's Devin Booker. Curry scored 23 points and Booker finished with 16 in the final round.
The Minnesota Timberwolves rookie centre Karl-Anthony Townes beat Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas to win the Skills Challenge. This was the first year that frontcourt players were allowed to compete against the guards in the event that puts a premium on ball-handling, passing and perimeter shooting.
The actual All-Star game is tonight.
NBA-SILVER STATE OF GAME
TORONTO (AP) - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has offered Oklahoma City assistant coach Monty Williams and his family condolences on the league's behalf.
Ingrid Williams, the coach's wife, died earlier this week from injuries suffered in a car crash. She was only 44, and tributes have poured in from players around the league since her passing.
Silver says, "The entire NBA family is grieving.''
In his annual State of the Game remarks, Silver also came out even more strongly against the so-called "Hack-a-Shaq'' rule.
Silver has long made it clear that he doesn't like the strategy that calls for the intentional fouling of poor foul shooters, reducing games to free-throw-shooting contests. Silver says he's ``beginning to feel a change needs to be made.''
UNDATED (AP) - The Dallas Stars ended Washington's five-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory over the Capitals. Tyler Seguin (SAY'-gihn) scored twice to give him 30 goals. Jamie Benn added his 29th of the season.
Alex Ovechkin continued his torrid scoring for the Caps. He scored his 14th goal in 14 games, giving him 35 on the season.
In other NHL action:
- Anaheim beat Chicago 3-2 on Ryan Getzlaf's goal at 2:16 of overtime. The defending Stanley Cup champions dropped to 4-6 since their franchise-record 12-game win streak.
- Nashville backup goaltender Carter Hutton made 22 saves and Calle Jarnkrok scored twice to lead the Nashville Predators to a 5-0 win over the Florida Panthers.
- Boone Jenner scored twice, Cam Atkinson and Brandon Saad each had goals and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2.
- Andrej Nestrasil and Victor Rask scored two goals apiece to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders 6-3.
- Mark Arcobello scored his first two goals of the season 17 seconds apart, Brendan Leipsic got his first NHL goal in his first game and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2.
- Adam Henrique scored a power-play goal 2 minutes and 58 seconds into overtime to lift the Devils to a 2-1 victory over the Flyers. Joseph Blandisi scored in regulation for the Devils, who snapped a three-game road losing streak to improve to 7-2-2 in their last 11 games.
- Winnipeg edged Edmonton 2-1 in a shootout. Blake Wheeler scored his 15th goal in regulation and added a goal in the shootout.
- The San Jose Sharks beat Arizona 4-1. Tomas Hertl scored his 11th goal for the Sharks.
- The Bruins have won six straight road games after a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Jonas Gustavsson turned in a good game for Boston with 31 saves. The Bruins are second in the NHL with 39 road points. The Wild have lost seven in a row and 13 of 14.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Wild have fired coach Mike Yeo (yoh) following their eighth straight loss.
The firing came a few hours after the Wild's 4-2 home loss to the Boston Bruins. That matched the franchise's longest home winless streak at eight. They've lost 13 of their last 14 games overall while plummeting toward the bottom of the Western Conference.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Phil Mickelson is 18 holes away from his first victory since the 2013 British Open at Muirfield.
Mickelson handled a strong ocean breeze and firm greens for a 6-under 66 to take the lead going into Sunday's final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It's the first time Mickelson has had the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour since the 2013 U.S. Open. He hasn't won since the 2013 British Open.
Hiroshi Iwata is two shots back of Mickelson, who is 16-under for his 54 holes.
(The Associated Press)