Damian Lillard is the 2023 NBA three-point champion. Lillard outlasted a field of seven other sharpshooters in Salt Lake City to win the competition, as he registered the second-best score in the field during the opening round and outlasted a pair of Indiana Pacers in the finals.
Tyrese Haliburton: 31
Damian Lillard: 26
Buddy Hield: 23
Jayson Tatum: 20
Lauri Markkanen: 20
Tyler Herro: 18
Julius Randle: 13
Kevin Huerter: 8
After Tatum started things off and made the tactical error of putting his moneyball rack first — thereby hurting him, as he did better once he was warmed up — Haliburton stepped up second and threw down a record-tying score that set the bar awfully high for the remainder of the field.
Hield’s 23 put the pressure on Tatum, but the Celtics star was able to stay alive due to Herro struggling between his inability to hit a shot on the first rack and his inability to finish his moneyball rack, which he put last. While Randle did not get blanked on a single rack, he likewise struggled mightily and couldn’t finish his moneyball rack. And in one of the bigger surprises of the evening, Huerter threw down the lowest score in the first round, as he missed all but one shot on his first two racks and could not dig himself out of that hole.
Tatum’s contest looked like it was over as Markkanen had 18 going into his final, all-moneyball rack, but the Jazz star only hit one, which meant the two would go to a shoot-off if Lillard could not exceed their score. But Lillard, decked out in a Weber State uniform, knocked both of them out and got himself into second place.
Damian Lillard: 26
Buddy Hield: 25
Tyrese Haliburton: 17
Hield went first in the final round and put up the kind of big score you expect from a former champion. Hield drilled four of the five shots off of his moneyball rack and improved on his first round score with a 25.
Lillard’s round came down to his very last shot. Despite hitting both of the ultra-deep balls to accrue six points, the Blazers star only hit two of the balls off of his moneyball rack. On his final rack, Lillard put himself in position to win if he knocked down his final triple, and he got nothing but net.
Haliburton went into the final round knowing exactly what he needed, but he came nowhere close to his first round. By the time he got to his final rack, there was no way for him to surpass Lillard’s total, making Portland’s talisman the first player in franchise history to be crowned three-point champion.