Tonight, he beat the greatest shooter of all-time in the NBA’s 3-point contest.
Harris posted a 26-point final round, topping Stephen Curry‘s 24 and Buddy Hield‘s 19, to win the middle event of All-Star Saturday Night.
“I think you look at the makeup of our Brooklyn Nets team, and it’s a lot of guys that were sort of cast off and had a second opportunity,” said Harris, who washed out with the Cavaliers then got sent to the Magic in a trade-and-waive. “I personally was one of those guys.
“I got lucky going into a situation, going to a Nets organization that had such a strong value and emphasis on culture, skill development. And I’m sort of a byproduct of that system.”
Even as he has gained prominence in Brooklyn, it wasn’t certain Harris would get invited to the 3-point contest. He’s making 47% of his 3-pointers this season, but Spurs forward Davis Bertans is shooting 48% from beyond the arc on nearly as many attempts per game and didn’t get invited. In the greatest 3-point shooting era ever, spots in this event are hard to come by.
So, Harris made a promotional video to aid his campaign. He said his the Nets and his agency pushed it.
“Obviously, I was all for it,” Harris said. “I think to experience All-Star is quite unique.”
Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.
1) Russell Westbrook passes Wilt Chamberlain with 10th straight triple-double — and it’s still Paul George’s night. I fear we take what Russell Westbrook is doing for granted. Nobody — not Jordan, Dr. J., Bird, Magic, LeBron, Smush Parker (especially Smush Parker) — had been able to average a triple-double for a season since Oscar Robertson did it back when John F. Kennedy was president and gas cost 28¢ a gallon. It was an unreachable mark.
Russell Westbrook is on pace to do it for a third straight season. The former MVP is averaging 21.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game.
Monday night his 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists was his 10th consecutive triple-double — surpassing Wilt Chamberlain to set a new NBA record. Any time someone passes Wilt on a scoring list, that’s a legendary feat.
And he was the second best player on his team.
Paul George continued his “put me in the MVP race” run of play with 47 points 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
The MVP talk for George is no joke.
Damian Lillard on Paul George, who torched the Blazers for 47 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists Monday night: "He’s on a different level. After watching him over the last 10 games or so — I catch a lot of their games — that dude, he’s MVP. If they keep this up, he’s MVP."
Westbrook and George made even more history: This was the first time ever teammates have had 20-point triple-doubles in the same game.
Oklahoma City picked up the 120-111 win against Portland in a game that could have seeding implications in a crowded West down the line.
2) James Harden’s 30-point streak extends, barely, to 30 games in Rockets win. Dallas looked as if it was going to be the team. At some point, James Harden’s streak of 30+ point games is going to end. He’s going to miss some shots, a team will have the waves of long defenders to throw at him, or like Monday night the Rockets could be well ahead (21 points) and Harden would sit the fourth and not be needed, not have the chance to get his numbers.
Harden almost was going to ride this one out on the pine, but Dallas made a 17-7 fourth-quarter run that had the game in single digits more than midway through the fourth, so Mike D’Antoni had to turn back to his star to seal the win.
Harden scored 11 quick points to secure the victory. He drained a step-back three and then hit another from beyond the arc, he got to the line for some free throws. Finally, he drained a deep three that extended the streak — watch him laugh and point to his mother as he runs back down the court.
Harden with the no-doubter to continue the streak. Scored 11 points in the span of less than 5 minutes to ice the game. pic.twitter.com/Gcg0F1QFls
That’s 30 games in a row of 30+ points for Harden, one short of tying Wilt Chamberlain’s second-longest streak ever of 31 games. The all-time streak is 65 from Wilt, and it’s wild to think Harden isn’t even halfway there.
Houston got the 120-104 win Monday, and that’s been the real MVP move about Harden’s streak — when it started the Rockets were below .500 and out of the playoffs at 13th in the West. Harden is in a zone and putting up points, but more importantly, he’s willed his teams to win and into the postseason chase.
3) Brooklyn makes Toronto work for it, but Kawhi Leonard hits the game winner.Even if he didn’t call bank. A lot of teams, down heading into the final minutes against one of the better teams in the NBA, would roll over and accept their fate. Not Brooklyn. They scrap, they fight, they will not go quietly into that good night.
Monday night the never-say-die Nets went on an 8-0 run late to make it a tight game and force a dramatic ending.D'Angelo Russell hit from beyond the arc to put the Nets up three, but then Danny Green answered to tie the game. However, after a Joe Harris miss, Kawhi Leonard got the rock and knew he was brought to Toronto to hit shots like this.
That Leonard shot had echoes Kobe Bryant — got to his spot at the elbow, elevated, and wasn’t afraid to use the glass. Not a bad guy to mimic.
After the game, Leonard admitted he didn’t call bank. Doesn’t matter. Russell missed a contested three as time ran out, and the Raptors held on for the 127-125 win.
Kawhi Leonard banks in game winner, Raptors knock off pesky Nets
Down in the final minutes to the Toronto Raptors, the Nets went on an 8-0 run late to make it a game late. It was tight in the final minute: D'Angelo Russell hit a three to put the Nets up, Danny Green answered to tie the game, then after a Joe Harris miss it was Kawhi Leonard‘s turn to be the hero.
Russell missed a contested three as time ran out, and the Raptors held on for the 127-125 win.
That Leonard shot was very reminiscent of Kobe Bryant — got to his spot at the elbow, elevated, and wasn’t afraid to use the bank.
The Nets are going to be a tough out for whoever gets them in the first round of the playoffs, but that ending shows why teams go out and pay for a guy like Leonard.
Brothers Stephen and Seth Curry, Dirk Nowitzki headline 2019 NBA 3-Point Contest
The 2019 NBA All-Star Game is nearly upon us. We still have yet to determine the rosters for Team LeBron and Team Giannis, but the rest of the events at All-Star Weekend have been set according to the NBA.
On Tuesday, the league announced which players would take part in the 2019 NBA 3-Point Contest. Several marquee shooters will headline the event in Charlotte, including locals Stephen and Seth Curry.
This is a pretty impressive lineup. Steph is arguably the greatest shooter of all time, and brother Seth is having an excellent year percentage-wise for the Portland Trail Blazers. Booker won this event last season, and Nowitzki won it in 2006.
The 3-Point Contest might be the most consistently entertaining event at All-Star Weekend, so I’m excited to watch this one.
Things kick off on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. EST.