Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has won the 3-point contest at NBA All-Star Weekend, achieving what he says was a life goal of his. Lillard finished just one point ahead of Buddy Hield to secure the title on Saturday night. Other competitors in the event included Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, and Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen.
“This was a goal of mine because as a shooter, any time you come into a competition like this, you want to win it,” Lillard said after the win. “I had done it two times before this, and I feel like I just didn’t take it serious enough. You know, I wanted to just shoot my way to a win, and I wasn’t shooting the ball really disciplined. I was lazy. I wanted to win at least one time before I was done playing. That’s why I took this one a little more serious, and it just happened that way.”
Lillard explained that he was miscounting in his head during the match, and thought he only had a chance to tie Hield’s score of 26. “It got to a point where I was counting in my head because the first round I didn’t even finish the rack because I was trying to look and find my score,” Lillard said. “This time I started counting, and I lost track. So as I got down the stretch of that last two racks, I was counting. I knew I had to make all of them, but I thought I was on track to tie him. I actually lost count. But I knew I needed to make all of them. Then when I looked up, I was, like, ‘Oh, that’s 26.’ It’s ironic that it came down to that, and I had to tighten up and come up big at the end. But, that’s typical for me.”
Lillard is currently averaging 31.4 points, ranking him fourth in scoring for the league. The feat isn’t enough to carry the Blazers to a playoff spot as the team is only 28-30 on the season. They’re currently ranked 12th in the western conference. The NBA All-Star Game will tip-off at 8:00 PM, ET on Sunday night.