New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire out vs. Jazz

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UPDATE: 7:20 p.m. ET: Carmelo Anthony is out for this one, according to multiple reports.

The news is far worse for Amar’e Stoudemire, however, who will miss at least the next six weeks after an MRI taken on Saturday revealed the need for knee surgery.

2:00 p.m. ET: Carmelo Anthony has missed the Knicks’ last two games with soreness in his right knee, and it could be three straight when New York hosts the Jazz on Saturday.

Knicks head coach Mike Woodson told reporters at shootaround that Anthony would be a game-time decision after receiving treatment.

“We’ve just got to wait and see if he’s ready to go tonight,” Woodson said, via Ian Begley of ESPN New York.

The Knicks could also be without Amar’e Stoudemire, who is reportedly experiencing soreness in both of his knees. Stoudemire has been on a minutes limit of 30 per game, and has been essentially right at it the last three games.

Woodson said the decision to play on Saturday would be Stoudemire’s.

The Knicks are 4-5 on the season when Anthony sits, and even though they can get the occasional scoring outburst from J.R. Smith, the team will only go as far as Anthony can take them. It’s more than a little worrisome, then, that Anthony has a build-up of fluid in that sore knee, but according to the ESPN report, there are no plans to drain the fluid at this time.

Anthony should obviously rest as much as possible to get this under control before the playoffs. But it’s worth noting that the Knicks are currently the three seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, a half game behind the Pacers for the number two spot.

If the Knicks had their choice that’s where they’d like to stay, since falling to fourth would mean a first round date with a very difficult Bulls team. And even if that test was passed, the Heat would be waiting for them in the second round, whereas if New York stayed in second or third, the team wouldn’t have to worry about a potential matchup with Miami until the conference finals.

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

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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: