NBA

Lillard wins three-point contest, says 'now I can retire from it'

By Sports Desk February 19, 2023

Damian Lillard announced he was retiring from the NBA's three-point contest after winning the title for the first time.

Portland Trail Blazers star Lillard, entering the contest for the third time, led the way with 26 points in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

With little-known Philadelphia 76ers guard Mac McClung coming out on top in the slam dunk contest, Lillard was the big winner of the day's All-Star Weekend festivities.

A 37.3 per cent career three-point shooter, with the sixth-most made threes in NBA history (2,334), the 32-year-old felt it was about time he took the title.

"I think all the best shooters in the history of our game, most of them have one of these," Lillard said.

"I just wanted to get it done at least one time. So, I'm happy I got it, now I can retire from it."

Stephen Curry, who has won two three-point contest titles but has not added to his seven entries since winning for a second time two years ago, posted on Twitter: "He said he is retiring from it with the trophy in the hand. I feel you."

Related items

  • Hawks point guard Young to undergo surgery on left hand Hawks point guard Young to undergo surgery on left hand

    Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday to repair a tear of the radial collateral ligament in the fifth finger of his left hand. He will re-evaluated in four weeks.

    The team said Young sustained the injury in Friday's loss to the Toronto Raptors and an MRI on Saturday revealed a tear.

    It’s a devastating loss for the playoff-hopeful Hawks, who at 24-32 lead the Brooklyn Nets by three games for 10th place in the Eastern Conference and a berth in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

    Young leads Atlanta with 26.4 points per game (11th in the NBA) and ranks second in the league with 10.8 assists per contest.

    He was named an All-Star for the third time in his career this season and led the East with seven assists in a 211-186 win over the Western Conference last Sunday.

  • Timberwolves were 'desperate' for a win, claims Finch Timberwolves were 'desperate' for a win, claims Finch

    The Minnesota Timberwolves "needed a win desperately", according to head coach Chris Finch, whose team beat the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

    Minnesota came out on top 101-86 to claim a fifth win in the space of six games, bouncing back from a defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks last time out.

    The Timberwolves are now clear at the top of the Western Conference with a 40-17 record, one win better than the 39-17 Oklahoma City Thunder.

    But coach Finch said his team "desperately" needed a victory.

    "We needed a win desperately," Finch said. "Still not playing really sharp basketball, particularly on the offensive end. But defensively, we were really strong."

    Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 29 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns added 28 to Milwaukee's total.

    "It was ugly, sloppy. I think by both teams, actually," said Timberwolves center Naz Reid.

    "But we [were] able to buckle down in the last quarter and handle business."

    The Nets dismissed coach Jacques Vaughn over the All-Star break, though are now 0-2 under interim Kevin Ollie.

    "I thought we did a great job coming together as a team and facing adversity," Ollie said. "But we've got to make shots."

  • 'We're not where we need to be yet' – Celtics out to improve despite season-best run 'We're not where we need to be yet' – Celtics out to improve despite season-best run

    Al Horford says the Boston Celtics are "not where we need to be yet" despite beating the New York Knicks to claim an eighth-straight win.

    The Celtics won 116-102 on Saturday to mark a season-best winning streak, while they are also eight games clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.

    Jaylen Brown finished with 30 points, Kristaps Porzingis had 22 and Jayson Tatum had 19, while Horford chipped in with 10 points from the bench, as Boston sealed their fourth win of the season over the Knicks.

    But in spite of their fine form, Horford says the Celtics must demand more from themselves.

    "It's just the way kind of the season has gone," he said.

    "We've kind of held our own, continued to work through things. Obviously, the [Philadelphia 76ers] have injuries, different teams have different stuff going on, so that all goes into account.

    "But I can just speak to we're continuing to play good basketball. We're really trying to play the right way. I feel like [Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla] is really challenging us to continue to get better. This is the stretch of the season where we can really take it to another level, and that's what we're trying to do.

    "I feel like we're not where we need to be yet, and that's a good thing."

    Mazzulla added: "The guys understand how to positively impact each other.

    "They understand how going into something at one point in the game is going to open it up for someone else later in the game. And we have different combinations, and the guys trust those combinations, and it puts us in a better position to win.

    "At the end of the day, it's about winning, and the guys are understanding that. They understand how they affect each other."

    Brown, however, pointed to the postseason as when the level of performance will truly count for the Celtics.

    He said: "When it comes down to the playoffs, none of that stuff really matters.

    "I feel like it's going to be about matchups, it's going to be about playing hard. Obviously, home court matters, so that is key, but when you get into the thick of it, you;'ve got to win basketball games. Regardless of what your seed is.

    "If anything, it puts more pressure on you. But I think we're an experienced team. We've been in these situations before and I think we're ready."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.