LOS ANGELES - Denver’s Voshon Lenard denied Sacramento’s Peja Stojakovic a third consecutive victory in the NBA All-Star 3-point shooting contest Saturday night.
Lenard edged Stojakovic 18-16 in the final round.
The Denver Nuggets guard hit all five red, white and blue money balls (worth two points) in the one-minute final. Stojakovic needed to hit the last money ball to force a tie, but it bounced off the rim as the clock expired.
“I knew it was going to be tough. He’s a two-time champion,” Lenard said. “I just tried to hang in there, but to win it over Peja, it’s a privilege.”
Stojakovic could have tied Larry Bird (1986-88) and Craig Hodges (1990-92) as a three-time winner. Last year, Stojakovic won his second title over Wesley Person of Memphis in overtime after a clock malfunction during the final round.
Lenard has been one of the league’s top long-range shooters over his nine-year pro career, but it was his first appearance in the 3-point contest.
Stojakovic led after the first round with 21 points, including hitting 4-of-5 from the top of the key. He hit the final money ball, kept his arms extended, then made the crowd laugh by cocking his head to the left as if to say, “Take that!”
Korver was second with 19 points, making all five from the left corner and 5-of-6 from the right corner. Lenard was third with 18 points.
Rashard Lewis of Seattle, Houston’s Cuttino Mobley and Detroit’s Chauncey Billups didn’t advance out of the first round. Lewis had 16 points; Mobley had 13 points; and Billups managed just 12 points after numerous balls bounced off the rim.
Lenard earned $25,000. Stojakovic received $15,000.
Players had a minute to shoot as many balls as they could from five spots around the 3-point line. The four orange balls at each station were worth one point.
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