How did Markkanen, Mitchell fare in NBA All-Star 3-point contest?

Posted at 7:51 PM, Feb 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-18 00:09:17-05

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — One Utah Jazz player and one former Jazzman participated in the NBA All-Star 3-point contest Saturday, but neither made it very far.

Lauri Markkanen, a forward in his second season with the Jazz, was selected as one of the eight competitors with a 40.3 percent 3-point shooting average this season.

Donovan Mitchell, who spent five seasons playing for Utah and now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was also invited. He's been shooting 36.1 on 3-point attempts so far this season.

In the contest, each competitor gets five racks with five basketballs on each, plus two long-range balls worth three points each. Each normal ball is worth one point, but there is one rack of all "moneyballs" that are worth two each, along with one on each of the other racks.

Mitchell went second and scored 21 points. With only three of the eight advancing from the first round to the second (and final) round, Mitchell was on the brink but was eliminated after Trae Young, Tyrese Halliburton and Karl Anthony Towns each earned 26 points.

Markkanen went seventh and looked like he had a chance to make it, but he fell JUST shy with 25 points.

Damian Lillard of the Milwaukee Bucks, who also has Utah connections as a Weber State alumnus, went last and tied the other three frontrunners with 26 points. Halliburton was eliminated in the tie-breaker.

Then in the final round, Lillard came in clutch and turned on his "Dame Time" superpowers. Towns ended with 24 points, then Young tied him. Lillard was again the final competitor and notched 26, winning his second-straight 3-point contest.

It was a close one, though — he was at 24 points going into the final rack of five basketballs, so he needed just one more make. But to the surprise of many, he missed four in a row. It came down to the "moneyball," which he sank.

"It's only right that I do it with some drama," Lillard joked after receiving the trophy.