HOUSTON — Terrence Ross had to settle his nerves at the start of the All-Star dunk contest. By the end, he was calming down a ball boy he needed as a prop for his winning slam.
The 6-foot-6 Toronto rookie leapfrogged Michael Costolo, the son of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, whipped the ball between his legs and hammered home a one-handed dunk to beat defending champion Jeremy Evans in the climax to All-Star Saturday.
"I told him the day before that I was going to jump over him, but I never told him I was going to go through the legs," Ross said. "He was kind of nervous. When I first grabbed him, he said, 'You're not going to hit me, right?' I said, 'No, I'm not going to hit you.'"
Ross seemed to be unsure of himself in the beginning, botching his first three dunk attempts in the first round. The crowd exploded when he finally pulled it off — flicking the ball behind his back on the way up and hammering home a one-handed dunk.
He earned a perfect 50 and immediately relaxed.
Portland rookie Damian Lillard beat Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday to win the Skills Competition. Players navigated through a dribbling circuit, had to make a jumper from the top of the key and hit passing targets. Lillard finished the course in 29.8 seconds. Holiday's time was 35.6 seconds.
"I think the biggest thing for me was to try not to be too cool and speed through it," Lillard said, "but take my time with the passes and shots."