NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash won their third straight shooting stars competition to kick off All-Star Saturday night at the Barclays Center.
Wilkins, the 55-year-old former Atlanta Hawks star, hit a half-court shot after 57.6 seconds in the final round to seal Team Bosh’s three-peat. They topped Russell Westbrook, Anfernee Hardaway and Tamika Catchings in the final round, when Team Westbrook ran out of time after 90 seconds.
Houston’s Patrick Beverley came from behind to beat Brandon Knight of the Milwaukee Bucks in the final round of the skills competition. The Rockets’ defensive specialist, who replaced Washington’s John Wall in the dribbling, passing and shooting competition, made a 3-pointer to clinch the win.
Unlike in the past, two players competed against each other in a bracket-style format for the skills challenge. Beverley bested Atlanta’s Jeff Teague in the semifinals. Knight overtook Toronto’s Kyle Lowry in the other semifinal.
In the shooting stars contest, Stephen Curry and his father, former NBA player Dell Curry, and WNBA star Sue Bird were knocked out in the opening round along with Paul Millsap, Scottie Pippen and Elena Delle Donne.
Curry did win when he when he headlined the 3-point contest later Saturday night.
In a twist, this was a rare year when the 3-point competition has more intrigue than the dunk contest because of the notable names who are — and aren’t — participating in each.
Curry and fellow “Splash Brothers” star Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors are headlined the event with Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, Houston’s James Harden, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, Portland’s Wesley Matthews, the Los Angeles Clippers’ J.J. Redick and defending champion Marco Belinelli of San Antonio.
Curry set the NBA record with 272 3-pointers in a season two years ago. Curry and Thompson combined to make 484 3-pointers last season and 483 in 2012-13, both by far the most in a season of any duo in NBA history.
The previous record of 435, set by Orlando’s Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott during the 1995-96 season, came when the NBA briefly shortened the uniform distance of the 3-point arc to 22 feet.
Korver also is shooting an NBA-best 52.3 percent from beyond the arc. Curry, Korver and Matthews are tied for the league lead with 161 3-pointers.
Eight stars also participated in the Skills challenge Saturday night. Players include Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, Atlanta’s Jeff Teague and Houston’s Patrick Beverley among the eight stars. Beverley won.
Finally come the slam-dunkers. Their roster includes Minnesota’s Zach LaVine, Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, and hometown favorite Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets.
In his second NBA season, the 6-foot-11 Plumlee is averaging 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 22.7 minutes per game.
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