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Warriors Juan Toscano-Anderson holds his own in slow paced NBA Slam Dunk Contest

JTA made his first-round attempts count and finished in second place in this year’s dunk contest.

uan Toscano-Anderson #95 of the Golden State Warriors dunks the ball over Andrew Wiggins as part of 2022 NBA All Star Weekend on February 19, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

For just the second time in the last 15 years, the Golden State Warriors had one of their players competing in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. It was Oakland’s own Juan Toscano-Anderson who was participating in NBA All-Star Weekend’s signature event. While he finished short of hoisting the trophy, Toscano-Anderson more than held his own amidst some of the league’s most exciting dunkers.

On his first attempt of the night, Toscano-Anderson took an ABA ball, got an autograph from Dr. J, and pulled Andrew Wiggins off the sidelines. Then, he casually stood at the top of the key, showed off his Warriors jersey themed with the colors of the Mexican Flag (his shoes had the same color pattern too, by the way), jogged towards the basket, hurdled his teammate, and completed a one-handed windmill.

In a first-round where every other contestant needed several tosses, gathers, and attempts to finish their dunks, Toscano-Anderson strolled to the top of the key and got the job done. He received a 44, tied for the highest score of the round among a judging panel that had a high standard all night long.

For his next attempt, Toscano-Anderson once again struck quickly. He went to the left wing, looped towards the basket, and pulled off a 360-degree spin with another windmill (this time a two-handed one). It received a 43, which frankly seemed a bit low, but nonetheless punched his ticket to the final round where he’d face off against Knicks forward Obi Toppin.

After an excellent first round, Toscano-Anderson faltered in the finals. In his first attempt of the round, he attacked the hoop from the top of the key before holding off on making an attempt when he was making an attempt. He opted to return to the left wing instead.

He finished a standard windmill dunk, but it seemed like a surprisingly basic attempt for a final round. On replay, Toscano-Anderson appeared to be trying to accentuate his dunk by putting his elbow through the rim, a la Vince Carter, but ultimately did not get the elevation he needed to pull it off. He received a 39 and was in a six-point hole behind Toppin.

In Toscano-Anderson’s final attempt, he harkened back to some Warriors dunk contest history. He donned a Jason Richardson jersey, went to the baseline, and tried to replicate Richardson’s signature dunk from 2003. Once again, though, JTA could not quite get the elevation he needed and, for the first time all night, missed his attempts, leaving the door open for Toppin to secure the title.

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