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NBA All Star 2013 : Foot Locker Three-Point Contest

NBA All Star 2013 : Foot Locker Three-Point Contest

Kyrie Irving had just finished saying his All-Star weekend was about earning everybody's respect. It was about the way a second-year player already in the main-event Sunday showcase -- and off a bad team at that -- wants to prove he belongs among the greats of the game. He had, more specifically, just finished making the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest an unexpected proving ground.

A win on All-Star Saturday doesn't ordinarily count for anything real, but there is nothing ordinary about Irving's situation. Emerging superstar, yes; destined for a long career as one of the top point guards, obviously; good enough to be the centerpiece of the Cavaliers' future and about to become one of the key new pickups for Team USA in international play, absolutely.

Except that Irving is so unknown as a threat from behind the arc, despite decent evidence to the contrary, that he rated himself a distant challenger in the event. In the end, he had the best mark among the three Eastern Conference competitors in the first round. He then beat San Antonio's Matt Bonner in the second and final round to win the contest in Toyota Center, and maybe even send a message in what should have been a playful moment compared to all the other accolades.

"I feel like I'm a better off-the-dribble shooter than a spot-up shooter," Irving said. "I'm not sure how many 3s I have on the year, but not as many as the guys I was shooting against out there. I try to be as efficient as possible. That's about it."

He has 82 threes on the year, behind four of the five others in the field and ahead of only Bonner, and Bonner has the excuse of averaging all of 12.6 minutes a game. Ryan Anderson, eliminated in the first round, has nearly twice as many at 159.

"I feel like I was a dark horse in this competition," said Irving, who does have the credibility of being 13th in the league in 3-point percentage. "I just wanted to go out and prove a point that I was one of the premier shooters out here with all these guys. Steve Novak and Matt Bonner, I never thought I'd beat those guys."

• East (Kyrie Irving) gets highest score in CHAMPIONSHIP round (10 points)
• EVENT SCORE -- EAST: 10 | WEST: 40
• Round 1: Curry | Irving | Bonner | Novak | Anderson
• Round 2: Irving | Bonner

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