One year removed from one of most impressive and creative performances of recent NBA All-Star Weekend memory, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine and his Slam Dunk Contest title defense headlines Saturday night’s three major competitions from Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Along with LaVine’s defense, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry guns for a second-straight 3-Point Contest victory while defending Skills Contest champion and Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley faces an assortment of big men in the evening’s first event.
The second-year highflyer LaVine, who’s netting 12.8 points and 3.2 assists per game this season, hopes to be the fourth player to ever win the Slam Dunk crown in back-to-back seasons and first since 2010. LaVine could also be the sixth player to win the contest twice in a career, joining greats like Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins, as well as Jason Richardson, Harold Miner, and Nate Robinson, who is the only player to win three times.
Last year, LaVine blew away the competition for a combined score of 194 between the two rounds, besting Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo’s 164-point total.
Already leading the NBA in scoring and in charge of Golden State’s stunning 46-4 start to the season, Curry also aims for history but must fend off teammate and shooting guard Klay Thompson for the second-straight year.
Curry may be the seventh player to claim the contest in consecutive seasons, and the first since Jason Kapono in 2008. Last year, Curry set new marks for most points in a single round and most in the final, scoring 27 out of a possible 34 points for the title.
Meanwhile, Beverley aims for more history as potentially the third player to sew up consecutive Skills Challenge titles. He can match Dwyane Wade and Damian Lillard, who won it in 2006 and 2007 and 2013 and 2014, respectively, and equal Steve Nash’s two wins from 2005 and 2010.
Here’s the full list of participants for each competition Saturday night.
Zach LaVine, G, Minnesota Timberwolves
Aaron Gordon, F, Orlando Magic
Will Barton, G, Denver Nuggets
Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons
3-Point Shooting Contest
Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
James Harden, G, Houston Rockets
Klay Thompson, G, Golden State Warriors
Khris Middleton, G, Milwaukee Bucks
Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors
JJ Redick, G, Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Bosh, F, Miami Heat
Devin Booker, G, Phoenix Suns
Patrick Beverly, G, Houston Rockets
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento Kings
Draymond Green, F, Golden State Warriors
Anthony Davis, F, New Orleans Pelicans
CJ McCollum, G, Portland Trail Blazers
Karl-Anthony Towns, F, Minnesota Timberwolves
Isaiah Thomas, G, Boston Celtics
Jordan Clarkson, G, Los Angeles Lakers