CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For at least one night, Joe Harris was the best three-point shooter in the NBA.
The Nets forward hit 12 straight shots in the final round of the three-point shooting contest, beating out Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Sacramento’s Buddy Hield for top honors at All-Star Saturday night.
“Obviously, it’s incredible,” Harris said when asked what it felt like to outduel Curry. “Steph is the greatest shooter of all time. Shooting off the rack for a minute is not indicative of being a better shooter than Steph Curry. I don’t want anybody to get this twisted.
“He’s won this thing. He’s participated a number of times. For me to come in my first time and to win, it’s a surreal experience.”
Curry, who went last in the contest, just missed forcing a tiebreaker. Curry hit his first nine shots but was edged by Harris, 26-24.
Diallo wins dunk contest
The Thunder’s Hamidou Diallo jumped over a standing Shaquille O’Neal, dunked and finished by hanging on the rim by his elbow en route to winning the Slam Dunk contest.
“Just came out and gave the crowd what it was looking for,” said Diallo, a Queens product.
Diallo beat out Dennis Smith Jr., 88-85, in the finals after it appeared that Smith got tired. Smith missed all five of his first-dunk attempts. On his second dunk, the Knicks point guard scored a perfect 50 after leaping over Dwyane Wade and taking a lob from Curry.
Smith’s best dunk of the night was in an earlier round as he recruited rapper J. Cole to toss him the ball. Smith leaped over a seated Cole before landing the dunk.
Silver: Tanking corrosive
It’s not good for anybody when teams try to lose.
That, in essence, was the message NBA commissioner Adam Silver delivered Saturday in his All-Star Weekend news conference.
The Knicks are one of five teams on track to have 20 or fewer wins this season despite the fact that the league made changes that were supposed to discourage teams from tanking. In the past, the team with the worst record in the league had a 25 percent chance to get the first pick in the draft. This year, the three worst teams each will have a 14 percent chance to get the first pick and undoubtedly select Duke’s Zion Williamson.
“I’m certainly not here to say we’ve solved the problem,” Silver said.
The commissioner pointed out that that while there are more teams competing for playoffs spots this year than there have been in recent years, the teams at the bottom are really awful.
“There’s a mindset that if you’re going to be bad, you might as well be really bad,” Silver said. “I believe personally, that’s corrosive for those organizations, putting aside my personal view of what the impact it has on the league overall. But, again, we’ll see how this plays out.”
The Knicks (11-47) have the second-worst record in the league. The other three teams in the race to the bottom are Phoenix (11-48), Cleveland (12-46) and Chicago (14-44).
Tatum wins Skills
It’s turning out to be quite a weekend for Jayson Tatum.
The night after the second-year Celtic scored 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Rising Stars game, he won the Skills Challenge by landing a shot from midcourt.
Tatum took down Mike Conley Jr., Nikola Vucevic and Trae Young en route to winning the whole thing for the first time.