Winner: Eric Gordon
Runner-Up: Kyrie Irving
More: NBA All-Star 2017 complete coverage
NEW ORLEANS — The NBA’s three-point contest was shortened from three rounds to two back in 2000, but it took three full rounds for Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon to secure a win in the 2017 JBL Three-Point Contest.
After Gordon and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving each scored 20 points in the championship round, besting the score of 17 from Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Gordon and Irving had to go to a bonus round to determine the winner. It was the first time the championship had required a shootout since 2012, when Kevin Love defeated Kevin Durant.
In the extra round, Irving made 8 of 10 shots from the corners and finished with 18 points. Gordon followed, utilizing the same energy-conserving set shot he’d used all night. After making just 2 of his first 5 attempts, Gordon made 11 of his next 12. Gordon finished with 21 to win it, becoming the first player in Rockets franchise history to win the three-point contest.
Three of the first four contestants began the contest by putting up huge scores. Kemba Walker opened the first round by scoring 19 points, and Irving followed with 20 points, a total that included making 10 of his last 15 shots. After Dallas guard Wesley Matthews scored just 11 points, Former Pelicans guard Eric Gordon overcame a smattering of boos to make for out of five balls on each of the first four racks and finish with 24 points.
After a break, the first round continued with four players who had to put up high scores to avoid elimination. Lakers guard Nick Young scored 18, which was one shy of keeping him in the contest. Portland’s CJ McCollum got cold in the middle of his round, making just one shot from each of the middle three racks and finishing with 10 points, while Kyle Lowry followed with just 9 points.
To finish the opening round, defending champ Klay Thompson began by making 4 of his first 5 shots, but made only 2 of 5 on three of the next four racks and finished with 18 points, a healthy score but not enough to advance to the championship round on this night.