Donovan Mitchell Wins 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest
During State Farm All-Star Saturday Night in Los Angeles tonight, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell won the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest, becoming only the second Jazzman to win the competition, joining Jeremy Evans who won in 2012.
In the two-round event, the participants performed a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round. Five judges scored every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30. Mitchell scored a 48 on his first dunk, 50 on his second, 50 on his third and beat out Cleveland’s Larry Nance Jr. with a 48 on his fourth and last slam in the final round.
In 55 games (47 starts) in his first NBA season, Mitchell is averaging a team-best and rookie-leading 19.6 points, along with 3.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 32.1 minutes per game. Mitchell leads all rookies in points scored and is the only rookie to total over 1,000-plus points before All-Star Break (1,076), 20-plus point games (28), 30-plus point games (six), three-pointers made (128) and is the first rookie since Tyreke Evans (2009-10) to average over 19 points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal per contest.
Utah is currently on an 11-game winning streak entering All-Star Break, with Mitchell being the first rookie to lead a team in total points during an 11-game win streak in NBA history. Mitchell totaled a Jazz-rookie record 41 points on Dec. 1 and 40 points against Phoenix on Feb. 2, marking the first time a rookie has posted two 40-plus point games in a season since Blake Griffin in 2010-11.
He has earned Kia Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors for games played during December and January and is averaging 23.3 points, 3.7 assists, 3.6 boards and 1.7 steals per contest since Dec. 1. The Greenwich, Conn., native is currently averaging the second-most points ever by a Jazz rookie (Darrell Griffith, 1980-81, 20.6 ppg).