Marco Belinelli is your three-point-contest champion.
The San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter took advantage of the new rules that allowed players a single rack of all money balls, hitting at least three of those shots in each round to advance to the final, where he beat Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal for the title.
Afterward, he gave his bold strategy for victory, courtesy of Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver:
“I shoot the ball.” Marco Belinelli on how he won the Three-Point Contest— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 16, 2014
Here's a look at the complete results:
|Player||Team||1st Round||Final||Final Tiebreaker||Grade|
|Marco Belinelli||San Antonio Spurs||19||19||24||A|
|Bradley Beal||Washington Wizards||20||19||18||A-|
|Damian Lillard||Portland Trail Blazers||18||B+|
|Kyrie Irving||Cleveland Cavaliers||17||B+|
|Kevin Love||Minnesota Timberwolves||16||B|
|Steph Curry||Golden State Warriors||16||B|
|Arron Afflalo||Orlando Magic||15||B-|
|Joe Johnson||Brooklyn Nets||11||C-|
In a stacked Western Conference group that featured Stephen Curry—easily the most prolific three-point shooter in the league—the 2012 three-point-contest champion in Kevin Love and the most recent NBA Rookie of the Year, Damian Lillard, it was Belinelli who somewhat surprisingly advanced to the final.
And he did so despite shooting two airballs in the first three racks. Here's a look at his first:
Your three-point champion, everyone.
Nevertheless, as Grantland's Netw3rk pointed out—with a little help from Kanye West—Belinelli did much of his damage with his money-ball rack, which he put in the final corner:
Belinelli barely gets by / Stack the money balls till they get sky highhhh— netw3rk (@netw3rk) February 16, 2014
Beal, meanwhile, logged the best first-round score of the night with 21 when he drained his final shot at the buzzer.
Advancing to the final was nice and everything, but the real highlight was probably getting mauled by Nelly, who used to walk Beal to school, afterward:
But at the same time, that led to Yahoo Sports' Dan Devine making all of our heads explode with this somewhat amazing revelation:
Beal + Nelly = Belinelli #whooooooooa— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) February 16, 2014
In the final, Belinelli repeated his first-round score with a very solid 19. Similarly to his opening-round performance, he started out extremely slow, hitting just four of his first 10 shots. But he heated up as he went along, knocking down five in the fourth rack and three money balls on the final rack for six points.
Beal seemed to be dead-to-rights when he wasted his money-ball rack and started out slow during his final round, but with his back against the wall, he calmly buried all six shots on his final rack to force a tiebreaker.
That thrilling finish forced Robert Griffin III to voice his excitement:
WE SEE YOU @RealDealBeal23 !!!— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) February 16, 2014
But Bello wouldn't be outdone. He came back with a dead-eye 24 points during the tiebreaker, while Beal was only able to notch 18.