Moss Point’s Devin Booker continues to establish himself as one of the NBA’s brightest young stars.
On Saturday, Booker won the NBA’s Three-Point Contest and he did it in record-breaking fashion at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. He beat 2016 champion Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Booker scored 28 of 34 possible points to run away with the event, hitting 20 of 25 3-pointers. Those numbers tied a record shared by former Chicago Bull Craig Hodges and ex-Miami Heat sharpshooter Jason Kapono.
“It feels really good,” Booker told The Associated Press. “I wanted to go out there and make a name for myself.”
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Each player shot five five-ball racks with a one-minute time limit. The final ball of each one was a “money ball” worth two points, and one of the racks, usually the last one, was all money balls. Booker made the money ball shot on his first four racks, and then made four of the five balls on the money ball rack.
It was Booker’s performance on the money balls that allowed him to set a new record for total points, surpassing the 27-point mark held by two Warriors teammates, Steph Curry and Thompson.
Harris, Booker and Thompson advanced from the eight-man field to the finals. Harris scored 17 points before Booker scorched the nets for 28 points. Thompson followed and scored 25 points.
Booker, who became the youngest player to score 70 points in a game last year, is averaging 24.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds a game for the Phoenix Suns.