Former Cavalier Joe Harris wins NBA Three-Point Contest

The Virginia alum beats out Stephen Curry with a stunning display of shooting

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Joe Harris won the NBA three-point contest on Saturday night, beating out a loaded field.

Porter Dickie | Cavalier Daily

Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris defeated a field of 10 of the NBA’s top shooters in the Mountain Dew Three Point Contest as part of the NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, N.C Saturday night.

As a late entrant to the contest, Harris was deemed an underdog among a loaded field that included previous winners such as Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and the Curry brothers — Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry. Harris was the first player to shoot in the contest and set the bar high with a score of 25 out of 34 points, making all of his shots in the money-ball rack. His score of 25 was strong enough to earn him a spot in the final round.

NBA superstar Stephen Curry and guard Buddy Hield, a rising star on the New Orleans Pelicans, met Harris in the final round, where Harris again shot first. He finished with a score of 26, the fourth-highest score ever tallied in the final round, while going perfect from the money-ball rack and hitting his last 12 shots. Curry, with 24, and Hield, with 19, could not beat out the former second-round draft pick as he secured the top prize.

Virginia fans remember Harris from his days playing for Coach Tony Bennett, where he won multiple All-ACC accolades and led the Cavaliers to the Sweet Sixteen in 2014.

After a slow start to his NBA career in which he struggled to consistently log minutes, Harris had a very productive season last year for the Nets, which landed him a two year, $16 million contract over the summer. He has expanded upon his success this season, carving out a starting role on the Nets, emerging playoff contenders.

In an increased role this season, Harris is averaging career-highs with 13.9 points per game, 30.1 minutes per game and a 50.1 percent field goal percentage while leading the NBA in three point percentage at 47.1 percent.

Off the court, Harris has helped raise money for Hoops2O, a partner of Waterboys, a non-profit focused on funding clean, sustainable drinking water for communities in need. Former Cavalier football player and Super Bowl champion Chris Long founded Waterboys, and Harris’ teammate Malcolm Brogdon founded Hoops2O.

Other winners of the night included Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo, who took home the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest trophy.

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