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Knicks' Robinson takes slam dunk title

PHOENIX - Just call him Krypto-Nate.

Nate Robinson tugged on Superman's cape - and won.

The 5-9 Knicks guard beat defending champion Dwight Howard of Orlando in an electrifying slam dunk contest last night, winning 52 percent of fans' votes.

Clad in an all-green Knicks uniform with green shoes, Robinson used Howard as a prop in the final round, springboarding over the 6-11 center to jam.

"Dwight was a great sport letting me dunk over him," said Robinson, who also won in 2006.

Howard, who scored a perfect 50 on both of his first-round dunks, performed the most theatrical dunk of the night in the first round. He disappeared into a phone booth just off the court, emerging with a Superman cape.

Howard waved his arms to the crowd as an 11-foot basket was wheeled onto the floor. Howard took a bounce pass from teammate Jameer Nelson and tomahawked a dunk as U.S. Airways Center exploded.

Robinson had fired up fans by leaping off the back of teammate Wilson Chandler, who crouched on all fours in the lane, and jamming, drawing applause from longtime Knicks fan Spike Lee.

"I got the championship back to New York City," Robinson said.

Portland's Rudy Fernandez and Denver's J.R. Smith were eliminated in the first round.

Earlier, Miami's Daequan Cook connected over and over again when the three-point shootout went to an extra session. When the long-distance contest went to overtime, Cook found his stroke.

The Heat guard posted the best total of the competition with 19 points in the extra round, cruising past Orlando's Rashard Lewis to win the title and end Jason Kapono's two-year run as king of one of the All-Star marquee events. Lewis sputtered in the third session, missing his first 11 shots to finish with seven points.

Cook forced overtime by hitting his final four shots in the second round of the six-man competition. "It was very important for me to be focused," he said. "I felt this was my opportunity to show people that I should be considered as one of the elite three-point shooters in the game."

Chicago's Derrick Rose capped his skills challenge victory with a double-pump reverse dunk. Rose defeated the Nets' Devin Harris in the final round, navigating the obstacle course consisting of dribbling, passing and shooting stations in 35.3 seconds, 4.4 seconds faster than Harris. "I was just taking my time, going against a great group of guys," Rose said.

Cleveland's Mo Williams and San Antonio's Tony Parker were eliminated after the first round. Williams took third with a time of 37.5 seconds after replacing Orlando guard Nelson, who has a torn right labrum.

In the H-O-R-S-E competition, Kevin Durant capped his All-Star weekend with an amazing comeback to beat O.J. Mayo and Joe Johnson.

Team Detroit - former Piston Bill Laimbeer, present Pistons guard Arron Afflalo and Detroit Shock star Katie Smith - won the shooting stars competition, in which players shoot from six locations of increasing difficulty.



8 p.m.


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