DALLAS — Paul Pierce promised to atone for his 2002 first-round elimination in the 3-point contest and he did Saturday with an impressive win. He scored 20 points in the final round, besting Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who finished with 17.
Pierce was gleaming afterward, treasuring the large trophy, even saying that if he concentrated on 3-point shooting, he would be one of the “great shooters of all time.”
“You know, like I said early on, I worked on it,” he said. “I really took pride in it from ’02 when I came in and stunk it up. This is something I really wanted to do and really wanted to show everybody that I put on a better performance and what better way than by bringing home the trophy.”
Pierce was congratulated by teammate Kevin Garnett, who slapped hands with Pierce following the win.
“They’re all such great shooters, I just tried to get into their head on the sideline,” he said. “I just tried to get an edge and it seemed to work.”
Pierce finished 8 for 10 on the Money or 2-point ball, helping seal the win.
“It’s like being a fourth-quarter player,” he said. “I think I’ve been known to hit big shots throughout my career, and even the biggest ones when I didn’t shoot the one (point) balls really well. I really focused on shooting the Money Ball. And that was something I think carried me through the competition.”
Pierce said he was happy that Garnett and Rajon Rondo rooted from the sideline.
“Support means everything,” he said. “And we are that type of team that supports each other in anything we do, whether it’s on the court or off the court. And on having KG over there yelling at me.”