LOS ANGELES — Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns won the 3-point contest as part of the NBA All-Star weekend with a record 28 points in the final round Saturday night.
He beat 2016 champion Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Los Angeles Clippers.
“It feels really good,” Booker said. “I wanted to go out there and make a name for myself.”
Did he ever. He was sensational in the final round, when he missed only five of 25 shots.
Each player shot five five-ball racks with a one-minute time limit. The final ball of each one was a “money ball” worth two points, and one of the racks, usually the last one, was all money balls. Booker made the money ball shot on his first four racks, and then made four of the five balls on the money ball rack.
Harris, Booker and Thompson advanced from the eight-man field to the finals. Harris scored 17 points before Booker scorched the nets for 28 points. Thompson followed and scored 25 points.
The previous record was 27 points, set by Stephen Curry in 2015 and matched by Thompson the following year.
Booker, the 21-year-old sharpshooter in his third season with Phoenix, is averaging 24.2 points per game this season as the NBA’s 12th-leading scorer. Eleven months after the shooting guard dropped 70 points against Boston to become the youngest player in NBA history to score even 60 in a game, Booker added another accolade to his promising career with the 3-Point title.
Thompson beat the buzzer with his final shot of the first round to reach the finals with 19 points. Booker also scored 19 and Harris had 18.