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Aaron Gordon seemed to suspend gravity with an incredible Christmas Day dunk

Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after a play in overtime against the Phoenix Suns at Ball Arena on December 25. Gordon wowed the home fans with an amazing dunk late in overtime.
Justin Tafoya
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Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after a play in overtime against the Phoenix Suns at Ball Arena on December 25. Gordon wowed the home fans with an amazing dunk late in overtime.

Aaron Gordon gave Denver a late Christmas present on Sunday night.

In a Western Conference faceoff, the NBA's Dec. 25 game between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns spilled into overtime. Then, with around 30 seconds left on the clock, and Denver leading Phoenix 124-123, Suns guard Landry Shamet failed to make a shot that would have pushed Phoenix into the lead.

That's when Gordon, the Denver forward, grabbed the rebound and sped down the court. There he met Shamet, who tried to block the lane. Despite being an improbable distance from the rim, Gordon launched himself into the air. He kept sailing forward, even as he made contact with Shamet, and shoved the basketball into the net. The crowd flew into a frenzy as Gordon fell back to earth.

ESPN's Tim Bontemps tweeted that Gordon's Christmas maneuver is "easily on the short list of best in-game dunks I've ever seen, especially considering the moment."

Denver capitalized on the gravity-defying move, as the Nuggets finished with a 128-125 victory.

Gordon says it's the best in-game dunk he's ever had "because of the time and score."

The moment was captured in a single image by Garrett Ellwood, a photographer for the NBA. In it, as Gordon levitates toward the hoop and Shamet is being sent to the floor, every player seems to have a look of disbelief on their face. It was as if Gordon defied a law of physics before their eyes.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ari Daniel is a reporter for NPR's Science desk where he covers global health and development.