Cleveland Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving won the NBA All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Contest on Saturday night, beating out San Antonio Spur Matt Bonner, 23-20, to win the competition.
The 20-year-old Irving was the No. 1 overall pick two years ago and continues to prove why that was the case. He blazed through the first three racks, missing only one of his first 18 shots. Although he missed the money ball at the final horn, his score of 23 was good enough to beat out Bonner.
The Spurs' big man with the soft touch posted 19 in the team round, while Irving edged out New York Knicks sharpshooter Steve Novak, 18-17, after Novak cooled off toward the end of his showing.
Novak on the 3? I think Kyrie can rise to the challenge— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 17, 2013
While Bryant is known as the Black Mamba, Bonner used his unique red hair to create his own spin-off of the nickname, as Beyond the Buzzer's official Twitter page documented:
The RED MAMBA beats out Steph Curry and Ryan Anderson to advance to the 3-Point final twitter.com/BeyondTheBuzze…— Beyond The Buzzer(@BeyondTheBuzzer) February 17, 2013
This was a great opportunity for Bonner to showcase his talents, as he has only played 12.6 minutes per game for San Antonio in the 2012-13 campaign. He posted his best point total in the final round, but it wasn't quite enough to match his counterpart.
Irving further proved his outstanding offensive versatility. Not only is he an exceptional finisher at the rim with both hands and the owner of sick handles, but his range has allowed him to shoot 42.5 percent from beyond the arc this season.
The precocious Cavs playmaker has been a busy man during the All-Star festivities. After playing in the Rising Stars Challenge, he took his incredible talents to the Three-Point Contest and beat out heavy favorites along the way.
Now, we will get to watch Irving put his full arsenal on display for the Eastern Conference squad on Sunday night.