Archive for Sunday, February 15, 2004

Lenard takes three-point title

February 15, 2004


— Denver's Voshon Lenard denied Sacramento's Peja Stojakovic from a third consecutive victory in the NBA All-Star three-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 during his nine-year pro career, but it was his first appearance in the three-point contest.

Philadelphia forward Kyle Korver also made the three-man finals. He scored 15 points after hitting all five shots from the left corner. He missed all five attempts at another of the five shooting stations.

Stojakovic led after the first round with 21 points, including hitting four of five 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 five of six 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 three-point line.

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