Lights Out Lillard
Photo by Christopher Doomes
By Christopher Doomes
SALT LAKE CITY – Third time’s a charm!
Damian Lillard returned to the state where he went to college and took home the trophy in the 3-Point Contest. He had every intention of walking away as the winner.
“I’m leaving here with the trophy,” Lillard said to the other participants.
The contest came down to the wire with Dame needing to hit his final money ball shot to secure the victory. While representing his alma mater Weber State University with a custom jersey, he put the basketball world on notice that even during All-Star Weekend, it’s Dame Time.
In the final round, it came down to Tyrese Haliburton, Dame, and defending champion Buddy Hield. Hield finished as the runner-up, losing by a single point. On the league’s biggest weekend, these three sharpshooters put on a great show.
In the post-contest interview, Lillard said, “As a shooter, I wanted to win it at least one time. That’s why I took this one a little more seriously.”
With the new format of the Skills Challenge, the 3-Point Contest coming down to the wire, and the resurgence of the Dunk Contest, NBA All-Star Saturday Night has returned as the staple of the weekend that fans can enjoy for years to come.