Griffin leaps car to capture slam dunk title

Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin flies over a car for a dunk after teammate Baron Davis threw him the ball from the sunroof during the Slam Dunk Contest at the NBA basketball All-Star Saturday Night, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

February 20, 2011 6:25:32 AM PST
With a gospel choir at midcourt encouraging him to fly, Blake Griffin soared over a car and threw down a two-handed dunk.

The rookie's remarkable leap won the slam dunk contest, and it also drove home the clear point of All-Star Saturday: The Clippers' rising star is just at the beginning of one thrilling ride.

Griffin easily cleared the hood of the 2011 Kia Optima and caught a pass from teammate Baron Davis out of the sunroof while the berobed Crenshaw Select Choir sang "I Believe I Can Fly," winning the 26th NBA dunk contest in iconic style before his hometown fans.

"There's a little pressure on us to really put on a show, but I thought those guys all did a great job," said Griffin, who beat Washington's Javale McGee in the final.

Griffin grew up watching and rewatching every dunk contest on videotape with his brother in Oklahoma, studying the event's evolution. He said the car dunk was his idea from the very start -- a perfect way to show off his combination of raw athleticism and Hollywood flair.