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article imageNBA: James Jones of the Heat beat out two former Champs

By Kristofor Molson     Feb 21, 2011 in Sports
Los Angeles - Two returning champs and now teammates came back to battle for the 3-point crown, but a new face walked away with it taking it to Miami. Pierce and Allen of the Celtics both came back, but Jones of the Heat was the winner.
James Jones of the Miami Heat pulled off a nice second round to take the Foot Locker 3-Point Contest Championship back to Miami for the third time. In a field full of good shooters only Paul Pierce who is the defending champ from last year, Ray Allen who won it in 2001 where teammates coming from the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Daniel Gibson of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Dorrell Wright of the Golden State Warriors rounded out the field for the shootout.
James Jones started out and knocked down 15 shots, going 9 of 20 and hitting 3 out of 5 money balls. Jones was once a teammate of former Indiana Pacers Reggie Miller. Miller never won a three point contest, but said during the contest that he and Jones use to have shootouts in practice were Miller would beat him left handed.
Daniel Gibson was second and he scored only 7 points on 5 of 20 shooting and only hit 1 of 5 money balls. Gibson was a runner-up in 2008 3-point contest and looked tonight like he could not find his rhythm.
Ray Allen was third hitting a first round high of 20 on 14 of 20 and 3 of 5 money balls. Allen at one point hit ten in a row and could have scored more, but did not even get the chance to shoot the money ball on the last rack as time went ran out. He did go 5 for 5 on the middle rack which is something no other contestant did.
Kevin Durant was the fourth contestant and he scored the lowest with 6 points going 4 of 20 and only hit one money ball. Durant did not look comfortable and it showed in his form. Analyst Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith said he is a good shooter, but a great scorer.
Dorrell Wright who is from the Los Angels area, scored 11 points on 7 of 20 shooting and hit 2 of 5 money balls. Wright started out knocking down his first two shoots on the first rack and hit the money ball as well. On the second rack he hit the first two but missed the money ball this time. The rest of the round he cooled off going 0-5 on the fourth rack.
Paul Pierce the Inglewood High Alum and from Inglewood, California was the last to go and did not even take off his warm-up while he was shooting. Pierce did the same thing last year and won the competition, but he started out off looking like he was not even going to make it to the next round. He stepped it up after going 0 of 5 on the second rack to hit 3 straight from the top of the key and hit 3 straight to finish the round to advance pass Wright by one. He said when the camera was on him he was going too fast, which was true seeing he was on the fourth rack with well over 20 seconds to go.
Pierce started the final round and finished with 18 points on 12 of 20 shooting with 3 of 5 money balls. Reggie Miller called 20 points the “magic number” and it was with Jones knocking down 20 to take the lead in the final round over Pierce. Jones hit 12 of 20 shoots like Pierce but one more money ball then Pierce going 4 of 5. Allen was the last one to shoot, but did not hit enough to win it again. Allen went 11 of 20, going perfect on the middle rack hitting all five, but had trouble with the money balls going 2 of 5.
Jones is the third player to win the shootout since Glen Rice did it in 1995 and Daequan Cook did it in 2009. There has not been a repeat winner since Peja Stojakovic did it when he played for the Sacramento Kings in 2002 and 2003. There has not been a 3-peat winner since Craig Hodges did it off the Chicago Bulls in 1990, 1991, and 1992.
More about NBA, Foot Locker 3point Shootout, Ray allen, Paul pierce, Kevin durant
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