Welcome to the 3-point Contest, where the defending 3-point champion is drawing boos from the Staples Center crowd. He's a fan of the big stage no matter the reception, so it's fitting that Paul Pierce will go last up. Ray Allen, who took Pierce's challenge and entered this year's contest having already won it in 2001, will go third. Don't sleep on the competition. Daniel Gibson, James Jones and Dorell Wright can get hot. And Kevin Durant's obviously a gamer.
The top three scores from the first round advance. So now that all the trash-talking's done, let the shots fall.
James Jones knocked down three money balls and finished with a 16.
Daniel Gibson missed his first nine shots and never found a rhythm, coming up with a 7.
Ray Allen drilled 10 straight and drained 3 money balls putting up a 20.
Kevin Durant made Gibson's 7 look strong by going for 6 with one money ball.
Dorell Wright dropped 8 but in vain.
Paul Pierce provided the high drama. It wasn't quite Larry Bird wagging the crooked finger in his third 3-point contest win, but Pierce got the 12 he needed by drilling his last three shots, including the money ball from the right corner.
Ray Allen, the pace setter, smiled. It would have been supremely anticlimactic if Pierce wasn't there in the final round with him.
No rest for Pierce, coming right back out after his last-ditch effort in the first round. He found a better rhythm, drilling six straight at one point and three money balls finishing with an 18.
But James Jones caught fire. He abused the money balls, drilling four of five, and looked like he would knock down the entire last rack before clanging the last ABA ball.
Ray Allen didn't have enough good shots left in him. He knocked down every shot on the straightaway rack but only two money balls. His 15 wasn't enough, and Jones walks away with the trophy.