Feb 6, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Marco Belinelli (3) shoots over Brooklyn Nets small forward Paul Pierce (34) during the second half at Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets won the game 103-89. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NBA All-Star Saturday: Three-Point Contest


In an event headlined by the Western Conference’s captain for the evening in All-Star Saturday’s new format, Stephen Curry fell woefully short of many of the expectations.

Curry scored just 16 points in his first and only round of the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, starting and finishing cold. In the new rules of the contest, a rack full of two-point “moneyballs” could be placed at any of the five shooting locations on the floor. Curry chose the right baseline, which was his final rack. He only made one shot, leaving him well short of where he needed to be.

Kevin Love led the contest off, despite having been the champion the only other time he competed (he was injured last year after winning it in 2012). He had the moneyball rack on the left wing, which was his second rack. Despite that being Love’s best location statistically during the regular season, he also hit just one of five shots on the rack.

The second contestant was Portland’s Damian Lillard, competing in this third of five events on the weekend. He looked okay, finishing with 18 points. The third shooter for the Western Conference was San Antonio Spurs swingman Marco Belinelli, who’s made a career out of being a role-playing sharpshooter on contending teams.

He started cold, but made up ground on his final rack, which was also his moneyball rack. Sinking his last shot, he passed Damian Lillard with 19 points to represent the West in the championship round.

Joe Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets led things off for the Eastern Conference, and struggled mightily. Statistically, he had no business even being in the competition (of course, he didn’t deserve to be an All-Star either, but that’s another conversation), and he shot exactly how one might have expected, scoring a contest-low 11 points.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo followed Johnson and put up just 15 points, good for the second-worst score of the evening. He put the moneyball rack last, like Belinelli, but ran out of gas before getting there. The third contest for the East was Washington’s second-year guard Bradley Beal, who put his moneyball rack second, on the left wing, and sunk just two of the five balls.

He finished with a round-high 21 points, however, and solidified his spot in the championship round opposite Marco Belinelli as defending champion Kyrie Irving scored 17 points in running out of time on his last (and moneyball) rack. Beal’s former babysitter, Nelly, was amped.

In the finals, Beal and Belinelli tied at 19 points after Beal got hot on his final rack yet again. In the 60 second tiebreaker, however, Belinelli got much hotter, scoring the highest total of the night with 24 points. Beal scored just 18 points in his last chance to match the Spurs forward, and the role-playerist player of them all walked away with the trophy.

There was a lot of intrigue in this year’s long-range shootout, and overtime rounds are what we all hope for. The additional rack of moneyballs was kind of a fun twist, and it helped Belinelli overcome a slow start to his first round and get himself deeper into the competition.

 

Tags: Bradley Beal Damian Lillard Foot Locker Three-Point Contest Joe Johnson Kevin Love Kyrie Irving Marco Belinelli NBA NBA All-Star Weekend Stephen Curry