Rookie Zach LaVine won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest with a captivating showing on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The 19-year-old blew away the competition with some memorable perfect scores. 

"I tried to get a 50 on every dunk," LaVine said in a press conference. "It didn't happen, but I was close on all of them. So, that was the main thing. I wanted to show everybody what I got."

LaVine said he practiced the dunks in high school, and had been inspired by the film "Space Jam" as a kid. He called winning the dunk contest "a dream come true."

"I'm still on 'cloud nine.' I feel like I'm dreaming. Seeing all the Dunk Contests and people hoisting the trophy. I just saw myself doing it and lived it," he said.

It was an overall impressive show of athleticism by the young stars and looked a lot like the exciting dunk contests of years past. The four up-and-coming dunkers in the 2014 contest were the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Brooklyn Nets' Mason Plumlee, the Orlando Magics' Victor Oladipo and the Minnesota Timberwolves' LaVine. This year's contest returned to the original format of two dunks per round, with three attempts at each dunk and no time limit. The top two dunkers moved on to the final head-to-head round.

The first round was highlighted by Oladipo and LaVine throwing down amazing dunks. The first two jams by Antetokounmpo and Plumlee, however, were a bit more pedestrian. Plumlee's started off his night by catching a rebound off the backboard under the hoop and finishing with a reverse dunk.





Oladipo provided the theatrics, singing to a "New York New York" entrance, but saved the real thrills for a fantastic dunk, a 540-degree spinning monster jam. The crowd was buzzing with excitement.

But perhaps an even more fantastic dunk was yet to come. LaVine was all set to one up Oladipo's amazing effort. He took a ball of the bounce, went under his legs and threw it home with authority. It was referred to as the "Space Jam" dunk.




The second attempt of the first round brought more of the same. Plumlee and "The Greek Freak" were more pedestrian once again, while Oladipo and LaVine provided the best slams. Oladipo's second attempt of the first round was a smooth catch and dunk off the backboard while LaVine went behind the back and way above the rim, and had the crowd, once again, going wild.


Oladipo and LaVine predictably moved to the final round. Antetokounmpo and Plumlee just didn't seem to have enough to keep up with the amazing show the other two contestants were putting on. 

The final round pitted two great dunkers against one another. Oladipo started off with an average dunk that earned him just a 31 out of 50 points. That set the table for a LaVine win, if he could bring something special with his first dunk. LaVine countered with another amazing jam, taking a feed off an outstretched hand, going through his legs, spinning and chucking it home. It earned him 45 points and effectively assured him the tropy. It would have taken a truly giant effort for Oladipo to come back.


Oladipo, needing something truly impressive, went with a windmill from behind the backboard on his second dunk of the final round. It was a good dunk but it wasn't ever going to be enough. All LaVine had to do was an average dunk to win, but like a true showman he did much more.


In the end, LaVine was simply too much for the field, he ended the competition with another monster slam and a windmill of his own. It offficially assured him the trophy and a year's worth of bragging rights.