The 3-point shootout competition during NBA All-Star weekend is without a doubt one of the most stunning and eagerly anticipated events. The contestants were of a high caliber on this occasion, but only one could be named the new champion of this show.
Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Kevin Huerter (Sacramento Kings), Tyler Herro (Miami Heat), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Buddy Hield (Indiana Pacers), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz), and Julius Randle (New York Knicks) were the players that participated in the competition. Damian Lillard had the last laugh as he won the 3-point shootout.
As Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers won the 2023 NBA 3-Point Challenge on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, Steph Curry has congratulated him. Curry clearly kept up with the events despite not taking part in the All-Star Festivities due to a lower leg injury. He quickly congratulated Lillard on his victory.
⌚️ yessir get you one @Dame_Lillard congrats!!! Hahaha he said he retiring from it with the trophy in the hand 😂😂 I feel you
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) February 19, 2023
Lillard beat Indiana Pacers guards Buddy Hield (25) and Tyrese Haliburton (26) by scoring another 26 points in the championship round after scoring 26 points to get to the final (17). Tatum had the lead at the beginning of the duel with 20 points, but Haliburton quickly overtook him with 31 points to tie the competition record, and that was just in the first round.
Later in the tournament, Tatum tied Markkanen for second place with 20 points, but it wasn’t enough to get him to the championship round. The three contestants that advanced to the final round were Haliburton, Hield, and Lillard. Lillard scored 26 points in his final game, one more than Hield, who had scored 25 points and had the game under his belt.
The 32-year-old entered the tournament in 2014 and 2019 but didn’t make it past the first round in either of those attempts. Saturday night’s victory was the competition’s first win for the 32-year-old. Now that he has finally prevailed in the contest, Lillard informed NBA on TNT commentator Adam Lefkoe that he wants to retire.
It will be interesting to see which player can live up to the bar that Lillard and Curry have set now that Lillard has announced he would stop competing in 3-point contests in the future.
Whatever it is, Curry and Lillard will undoubtedly be on the lookout and ready to give them their well-deserved praises as well.