Jordan Dunks, Shoots 3s And Enjoys First All-Star Game
NEW ORLEANS – DeAndre Jordan stepped onto the court as an All-Star for the first time in his career in the second quarter Sunday night, proceeding to do what he’s known for, just in more dazzling fashion.
Jordan followed a dunk off a lob from Klay Thompson by operating a give-and-go to get Thompson a basket and, shortly after, finishing off a dunk on a lob off the backboard from Russell Westbrook.
That dunk from Westbrook’s fancy dish might’ve been the highlight of Jordan’s night, but it wasn’t that play Jordan referred to first after finishing with six points, three rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes in a 192-182 Western Conference victory.
“I’m really upset that I didn’t hit any of my 3s,” Jordan said.
Jordan deadpanned before the weekend that while he’s participate in the dunk contest, he also hoped he’d do the 3-point competition to show off his skills behind the arc. He put those to the test Sunday, heaving up two 3-point attempts, which were his only two misses on a 3-for-5 night.
He launched his first 3-point attempt in the second quarter on a shot at least 30 feet out. His second attempt happened in the second half, bringing the ball up the court himself and pulling up from straight on.
“If I would’ve shot 50 percent, I think I would’ve made my case. The fact that I was 0-for-2 tonight kind of puts me in a tough spot,” Jordan quipped. “But it was cool, I had a real good time.”
More than anything, he made sure to have fun with his first experience in both an All-Star Game and an All-Star dunk contest, and he was happy to come out on the winning end.
“We’ve got to work on our defense a little bit,” Jordan joked.
Every All-Star Game tends to be a scoring onslaught, but 2017 was particularly offense-heavy, as the teams combined for the highest scoring All-Star game ever.
Jordan said it can be tough as a defensive-minded player to play “olé” defense, letting his opponent go by on fast breaks or when someone was driving hard to the rim, but that’s typically how the unwritten All-Star rules go.
“I’m upset that we didn’t score 200, but man, it was so much fun to go out there and play with these guys on both squads,” Jordan said. “Russ played great. That was cool, I’ve never played with him before. AD was amazing. It was just fun to see.”
Anthony Davis earned All-Star Game MVP honors in front of his home fans, scoring an All-Star record 52 points while going 26-for-39 from the field. Jordan said he was happy for both Davis and for the city of New Orleans.
“It’s cool when a guy’s playing great and we want to see him be successful, especially tonight in the town he plays in,” Jordan said.
With his first All-Star Weekend wrapped up, it was a challenge for Jordan to pinpoint one specific highlight that stood out most.
From arriving Thursday, to watching the festivities Friday, to being a part of All-Star Saturday’s dunk contest and playing in his first All-Star Game Sunday while hanging around players he’s become closer with through Team USA and from years in the league, the entire experience was one Jordan won’t forget.
Now, it’s back to Los Angeles and the real thing, as Jordan returns home to prepare for the final 26 games of the regular season.
There’s little doubt how Jordan will spend that time before the Clippers start back up Thursday at Golden State.
“Take a couple naps, rest, hang out and get ready for the season,” Jordan said.