Stephen Curry catches fire to win his first Three-Point Contest
BROOKLYN -- Splash. In a performance astounding yet highly unsurprising, Warriors star Stephen Curry got hot, stayed hot and took home the Three-Point Contest title with 27 points in the final round. Saturday was Curry's fourth appearance in the competition and his first title.
"Just being in that competitive spirit and having fun out there, I love to shoot the basketball," Curry said. "This is a great place to kind of showcase that, and I have fun doing it."
Curry posted the highest score of the night to knock off his Golden State running mate Klay Thompson and Cleveland star Kyrie Irving. Contest rules allowed shooters to place a rack of five “moneyballs” worth two points apiece wherever they wanted, and Curry took full advantage. He stroked six in a row early on, then ripped off 13 of his last 14 to overcome a slow start and solidify his reputation as one of, if not the best, shooters on the planet.
Neither challenger put up much of a fight at the end. Irving started off hot, draining eight straight after missing his first shot, but cooled off on a blank middle rack and never regained his touch. He finished with 17.
Irving’s unimpressive round put the onus on the Splash Brothers. Curry’s impressive showing left Thompson with work to do in order to secure Bay Area bragging rights. After posting the highest score of the first round with 24, Thompson finished with a bit of a whimper. Unable to escape a poor start, Thompson posted the lowest score of the night with just 14, but had his teammate on edge.
"I knew I had done pretty well, finishing strong with that second round," Curry said. "But Klay, I looked in his eyes. He's obviously capable of 37 in a quarter, so he can probably knock down a couple of threes and get a high number."
"It was kind of cool for all of Dub Nation to have a 50/50 shot, with one of us winning and bringing it back to the area," Curry added. "Pretty cool. Couldn't have planned that one any better."
The three-point field was widely christened the best ever, with talented shooters up and down. The first round looked like it might live up to the billing, with Wesley Matthews of the Blazers leading off the contest with a solid 22 points and the advancing trio drumming up excitement from the Barclays Center crowd.
After mediocre showings from J.J. Redick and James Harden (who missed eight of his last nine, and may still have been stressed from being stuck in an elevator earlier in the night), Irving, Curry and Thompson notched 23, 23 and 24 to knock out Matthews. The pressure then fell on on league-leading three-point sniper Kyle Korver, The Hawks star took his time, but was unable to place in the top third and ended with 17. Defending champ Marco Belinelli of the Spurs, shooting last, couldn’t catch up either, finishing with 18.