Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. edged Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon in a remarkable slam dunk contest that needed two tiebreaker dunks Saturday night at the United Center in Chicago.
Despite the mesmerizing jams from Gordon and Jones, the final result wasn't without controversy. After the event, two judges said they wanted the second dunk-off to end in a tie.
"We thought it was going to be tied," one judge, hip-hop artist Common, told ESPN. "We were like, 'This is a tie!' But somebody didn't do it right. I don't know who it is. ... I really felt it was an even battle and we -- as judges -- felt the scores should be even and they should just have a judge off. We had the cards. Put your card up for who had the best dunks."
Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker, another judge on the five-person panel, confirmed that they intended for the second tiebreaker round to end in a draw.
"I ain't throwing anyone under the bus, but check the score card," Parker told ESPN.
It remains unclear whether Jones and Gordon would have continued dunking if the score was tied after the second dunk-off. According to ESPN, the NBA wasn't going to allow co-champions, meaning the winner likely would have been decided by a majority vote from the judges.
Jones and Gordon each recorded perfect 50s in the final round and in the first dunk-off, setting up the second tiebreaker. In that round, Jones drew a 48 from the five judges after he took off from just inside the free-throw line and threw down a windmill dunk with his left hand.
Gordon, after talking with Hall of Fame big man Shaquille O'Neal, brought out 7-foot-5 Boston Celtics center Tacko Fall for his dunk attempt. He took the ball from Fall's hands while jumping over him and finished with a ferocious slam.
The dunk generated buzz at the United Center, but Gordon was awarded only a 47 from the judges, giving the win to Jones. Parker and Common each gave Gordon a 10 for the jam, with the other three judges -- Dwyane Wade, Scottie Pippen and Chadwick Boseman -- each awarding him nines.
Wade, who starred for the Heat in his 16-year career, was accused by NBA fans and other personalities from around the league for rigging the vote in favor of Jones, a fan favorite among Heat faithful.
"I mean it took nine rounds. It wasn't biased," Wade told Complex Sports after the event. "It got to the point where I wasn't the only one that gave a nine. Let's talk about that. It was three people that gave a nine.
"But you know what, people are going to talk and you allow them to talk. But more so than anything, hopefully [the participants] just enjoyed the dunk contest. Aaron Gordon is not going to lose any sleep about not winning a dunk contest."
Meanwhile, Heat big man Bam Adebayo won the All-Star skills challenge. Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield outlasted Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker in the 3-point contest.