Jaylen Brown falls on final dunk to Mac McClung at 2024 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Boston Celtics superstar Jaylen Brown came up short at the 2024 NBA Slam Dunk Contest in Indianapolis Saturday night. Brown was the first All-Star since 2017 to participate in the event and the first Celtic since Gerald Green in 2007.

Brown made his way to the final round against defending champion Mac McClung of the G-League behind a blend of athleticism and nods to basketball history. In a competition that went down to the final dunk, however, Brown came up just short. He earned second place for the night, but ultimately went home empty handed.

Let’s take a closer look at how things shook out for Jaylen Brown at the 2024 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

Dunk No. 1

Brown was born in Georgia, so for his first dunk, he paid homage to Atlanta Hawks great Dominique Wilkins. Wilkins isn’t just a legendary player for the Hawks organization, but he also won the competition in 1985 and 1990.

With the powerful slam, Brown opened up the first round with a top score. The players with the highest score after the first two dunks advanced to final round, and Brown was sitting pretty early here.

Dunk No. 2

Brown’s second dunk had a lot of moving pieces. It made for an interesting slam, but a complicated one.

First, Brown brought out his teammate Jayson Tatum, who fed him a lob. Next, he placed YouTube star Kai Cenat in a chair in front of the rim. And as he ended the dunk, Brown made a hat tip to former Celtic and Slam Dunk Contest winner Dee Brown. When he finished the dunk, the LCD screen under the court flashed an image of Boston’s parquet floor.

It was maybe a little lacking in execution, and a lot to follow. But it was enough for Brown to lock up a shot at the final round against the reigning champion McClung.

Dunk No. 3

Brown paid tribute to his late friend Terrence Clarke for his first dunk of the last round of the dunk contest. Clarke was a New England native and mentee of Brown who tragically died at the age of 19 in 2021. Brown has been open about his relationship with Clarke in the past.

It was an athletic slam and a beautiful way to honor Clarke. It also earned high marks from the judges.

Dunk No. 4

Concerns about Brown’s abilities with his left hand have been a consistent cry from fans and media for years. Brown took the criticism head-on for his final dunk of the night. In a diamond-studded glove, Jaylen executed a strong slam, finishing with his left hand.

In the end, however, McClung grabbed a perfect score of 50 on his final dunk. This put him past Brown, securing second place for the Celtics superstar.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire