SALT LAKE CITY — Tyrese Haliburton started the NBA All-Star Three-Point Contest in record fashion but couldn’t seal the deal, finishing third behind reigning champion Damian Lillard and teammate Buddy Hield.
Halliburton held a three-point record with 31 points in the first round, but finished with 17 points in the final.
“I felt good, but I choked at the end,” he said with a smile. “I just choked.”
But the brutal finish didn’t detract from the experience.
“Next year’s book, Tyrus,” he said. “I will enter the competition next year. I’m going to answer this. I will definitely return it.”
And while the tournament was held at Vivint Arena in Utah, Milwaukee and Oshkosh faced off in the opening rounds and Tyler Herro was also in the tournament.
But Hero said there is no domestic state pride on the line between the two guards.
“No, I mean he’s here for a better reason than me,” said the Whitnall High School student. “I came here to compete for three points; He is the star. So that’s the main dream is to be a star. So at the end of the day, all the love goes to him and I’m very happy for him. We’ve been playing against each other since third grade, so it’s always back and forth, it’s competitive, it’s just who we are, that’s why we’re here.
Halliburton said the couple took a moment on the couch to reflect on how much they’ve come together since their childhood in Wisconsin.
“We played AAU together from sixth grade to eighth grade, obviously someone who held me accountable for my growth as a basketball player and I hope I can do the same for him,” Halliburton said. “We push each other. We don’t talk a ton these days, but we see what each other is doing and I think we both push it. It’s good for both of us,” he said.
Sacramento’s Kevin Huerter, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Utah’s Lauri Markkanen and New York’s Julius Randle also participated.
Hero finally said that he practiced moving around the ballpark that day, admitting that it was the first time he had ever done so. He said that there is a strategy where the balls start to get into a rhythm, but when the competition started, he was unable to keep a rhythm and was able to finish with 16 points.
“It was very similar to practice,” he said later. “Some shots go in, some shots don’t. It was a good experience though.”
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