NBA All-Stars

All-Star shooters show: Curry rallies past Ionescu; Lillard still 3-point king


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All-Star shooters show: Curry rallies past Ionescu; Lillard still 3-point king

SHARPSHOOTER. Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts during the Stephen vs Sebrina three-point challenge in the 2024 NBA All Star Saturday Night.

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Even in All-Star action, Stephen Curry comes through the clutch to clip WNBA ace Sabrina Ionescu in a shooting showdown as Damian Lillard becomes the first back-to-back Three-Point Contest champion in nearly two decades

Stephen Curry made 4-of 5 shots from the right corner to end his round and overtake Sabrina Ionescu to win 29-26 in the special three-point competition between two prolific shooters during All-Star Saturday Night in Indianapolis.

Curry accepted the challenge from the WNBA star to engage in the competition and both players were sharp. Ionescu, a star for the WNBA’s New York Liberty, started on the left side of the court and made 9 of her first 10 shots.

She wasn’t able to keep up the sharp pace and went 5-of-11 from the right side of the top of the key.

Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ star, didn’t start as fast as Ionescu but made up ground by hitting all five shots from the right wing before moving past Ionescu from the right corner.

In the regular three-point shooting contest, Damian Lillard of the Milwaukee Bucks prevailed for the second straight year. He is the first repeat winner since Jason Kapono of the Toronto Raptors won in 2007-2008.

Lillard compiled 26 points in the final round, edging 2022 champion Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. Both Towns and Young had 24 points.

The competition went down to the wire as Lillard had 24 points as he went to the left corner for the rack of five balls. He missed the first four shots before sinking the winner on his last attempt.

Lillard, Towns, Young, and Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers all made 26 in the first round – a four-way tie for the three spots. A 30-second tiebreaker was held and Haliburton was eliminated.

Lauri Markkanen (25 points) of the Utah Jazz, Jalen Brunson (24) of the Dallas Mavericks, Donovan Mitchell (21) of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Malik Beasley (20) of the Bucks were eliminated in the first round.

In the Skills Challenge, Team Pacers won in a halfcourt shot tiebreaker over Team All-Stars.

Haliburton sank a halfcourt shot with 20.5 seconds left in the 60-second overtime to give Team Pacers the win. Myles Turner and Bennedict Mathurin were the other members.

Team Pacers earned 100 points apiece in the relay and passing events. Team All-Stars, consisting of Scottie Barnes (Toronto Raptors), Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers), and Young won the 200-point shooting competition to force the tiebreaker.

There was 1.2 seconds left when Maxey made a halfcourt shot for Team All-Stars.

The other participants in the Skills Challenge were Team First Picks, featuring No. 1 overall picks Paolo Banchero (Orlando Magic), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), and Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs). –

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