New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks

By the way, Deron Williams really enjoyed win over Knicks

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Linsanity started a couple weeks ago when Jeremy Lin came off the bench and out of nowhere to drop 25 on the New Jersey Nets.

Deron Williams read in the papers how he got “destroyed” by Lin. He got weeks of questions about Lin and how good he was. Williams quietly fumed.

Then Monday night he unleashed it on the Knicks, scoring 38 points and knocking down 8 threes. Lin had good numbers, but the Nets held his drives in check (and with it the Knicks offense) and New Jersey got the win.

Williams enjoyed that a lot, as he told the New York Daily News.

“So when somebody says they destroyed you, and you watch the tape and you don’t feel like you got destroyed, you circle those types of games,” Williams said….

“I don’t really watch SportsCenter, I don’t really watch too many games, but I do see Twitter. And every three lines was, ‘Jeremy Lin destroys Deron Williams’ in the first game. And like I said, I had it circled.”

The plan going in was to have Williams attack Lin.

“We told him, even this morning: ‘If you’ve got some looks at threes, just take ’em. We know you can make them, but just be aggressive,” (Nets coach) Avery Johnson said. “And if their point guard’s not on you, we’ll try to figure a way to get him back on you so you can attack.”

It worked.

The tests for Lin and the Knicks get tougher this week. They get a solid Hawks team on Wednesday then the destroying-everything-in-their-path Heat on Thursday. And you can bet teams are going to start to attack Lin’s defense — both to test it and to wear him out a little making him work on both ends. He’s going to need Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and everyone else to pitch in more. And fast.

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

Minnesota Timberwolves Zach LaVine slam dunks the ball during the NBA all-star skills competition in Toronto on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Associated Press
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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: