Devin Booker

Kings' Buddy Hield wins first NBA 3-Point Contest title on final shot

Kings' Buddy Hield wins first NBA 3-Point Contest title on final shot

Buddy Hield finished the job this time around. 

The Kings sharpshooter won the NBA 3-Point Contest on Saturday during All-Star Weekend in Chicago after losing in the finals last year in Charlotte. Hield became the first King to win since Peja Stojaković went back-to-back in 2002 and 2003, besting Washington Wizards big man Davis Bertans and Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker. 

The 27-year-old saved his best for last, draining seven of his last eight shots and surpassing Booker with his last attempt. 

Hield needed 27 points in the last round to beat Booker, the 2018 champion. The Suns star nervously watched on as Hield stepped up to the "money ball" rack in the left corner. Each of Hield's final shots was worth two points, and he needed to make four to pass Booker. 

He did just that, leaving it to the final shot. 

Hield advanced to the finals with an identical 27 points in the first round, tying Booker for the highest score. He drained one of two of the new shots six feet behind the 3-point line -- worth three points apiece -- and finished off the round with six consecutive makes, including all five from his "money ball" rack.

[RELATED: Purple Talk Podcast breaks down the Kings at the All-Star break]

The Kings guard was a +700 favorite to win the contest, according to DraftKings. That gave Hield the sixth-best odds out of eight contestants, but the Bahamian was the fastest of his competitors -- and anyone in NBA history -- to make 800 3-pointers.

He has been one of the NBA's best 3-point shooters for a while, but Hield now has the hardware to prove it. 

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in narrow 112-106 loss vs. Suns

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in narrow 112-106 loss vs. Suns

BOX SCORE

PHOENIX -- It's a matchup that has yielded good results for Golden State in recent years, but in Wednesday's 112-106 loss, the Phoenix Suns reminded the Warriors just how far they've fallen. 

The defeat marked Golden State's fourth straight and the first time Phoenix has taken the season series over the Warriors since 2011. 

Suns guard Devin Booker scored 27 points as his team shot nearly 38 percent from 3-point range in a game Phoenix led most of the evening. 

Wednesday's game marked the Warriors last before the All-Star break, providing an eight-day break for the battered roster. 

Here are the takeaways from a loss that had some silver linings to it:

Sloppy play 

On most nights, the Warriors are at a competitive disadvantage based on their talent. They compounded that Wednesday with some dreadful offensive moments, committing 22 turnovers on the night. 

Golden State's troubles were evident from the start, as the Warriors committed nine turnovers in the first quarter. By the end of the first half, they committed 13 giveaways as the Suns took an eight-point lead into halftime. At night's end, the Warriors had nearly as many turnovers as assists (27). 

In recent years, Golden State's Hall of Fame-level talent could overcome such performances. Now, with much of that talent gone or injured, taking care of the ball is vital. 

Wiggins better than advertised

Andrew Wiggins has churned in some solid performances since he was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. On Wednesday, he continued the trend, finishing with 27 points, four rebounds, five assists, two steals and four blocks. 

Upon arrival, Wiggins was maligned for his defense and effort, causing some NBA observers to call the 24-year old a "bust". He displayed no such issues Wednesday evening, routinely challenging shots while carrying the offensive load. 

Wiggins development is imperative to Golden State's future success. If the Warriors plan to compete for titles, his defense will have to be more consistent. Wednesday was the latest positive step towards that goal. 

[RELATED: Why Kerr compares Wiggins to puzzle piece for Dubs' future]

Chriss shows out in old home

Marquese Chriss has had a rollercoaster season thus far. On Wednesday, he continued to make it all worth it, finishing with 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

The big man got going early, scoring 12 first-half points, showing a diverse skillset along the way. Four minutes into the game, he blocked former teammate Devin Booker at the rim, leading to a fast-break opportunity on the other end. Two minutes later, he caught a lob pass from Wiggins, giving Golden State a two-point lead. 

The performance coincides with Chriss' mini-tear of late. Four days ago, he scored a career-high 26 points against the Lakers. On Monday, he followed that performance up with 17 points against the Heat. 

The location was also noteworthy. Chriss spent his first two seasons in Phoenix, never winning more than 24 games, earning a reputation of being immature along the way. Now, in Golden State, Chriss has the chance to earn a spot in the team's future plans. So far, he's taking advantage of the opportunity.

Warriors at Suns watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

Warriors at Suns watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

In their last game before the All-Star break, the Warriors make their first trip to Phoenix this season and face the Suns on Wednesday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 5 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 6:10.

With the Warriors (12-42) unrepresented in the All-Star Game for the first time since 2013 -- though rookie forward Eric Paschall was selected for the Rising Stars game -- coach Steve Kerr urged the players to get away for a few days before they reconvene next Tuesday.

No one needs the time off more than Kevon Looney. Batting the effects of neuropathy, the forward/center was ruled out after the team’s morning shootaround, bringing to 40 the number of games he has missed this season.

The Suns (21-33) also are coping with injuries. Three rotation players were declared out Wednesday morning, shortly before starting center Deandre Ayton was downgraded from questionable to doubtful.

[RELATED: How to watch tonight's Warriors-Suns game on MyTeams, TV]

The teams split their first two games this season, both played at Chase Center.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F – Andrew Wiggins
F – Draymond Green
C – Marquese Chriss
G – Damion Lee
G – Ky Bowman

Suns

F – Kelly Oubre Jr.
F – Mikal Bridges
C – Cheick Diallo
G – Devin Booker
G – Ricky Rubio

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), F/C Kevon Looney (left hip soreness) and G Klay Thompson (left ACL rehabilitation) are listed as out.

Suns: C Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) is listed as questionable. C Aron Baynes (left hip soreness), G Jared Harper (right wrist sprain), C/F Frank Kaminsky (right patella stress fracture) and F Dario Saric (left ankle sprain) are listed as out.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: With Looney out, rookie Alen Smailagic and Chriss will split most of the time at center. Though Green has played there in the past, the coaching staff is trying to limit his minutes at center.

Chriss is shooting 63.4 percent from the field over his last seven games, all of which he started. 

Wiggins averaged 21 points in his first two games as a Warrior, shooting 53.8 percent overall and 45.5 percent from distance.

[RELATED: Why Kerr compares Wiggins to puzzle piece for Dubs' future]

After posting subpar shooting numbers for most of January, Lee is back on target this month. He’s shooting 48.2 percent from the field, including 45.5 percent from deep.

Since moving into the starting lineup after the Feb. 6 trade of D’Angelo Russell, Bowman is 2-of-10 from the field 0-of-4 from deep, with 13 assists and five turnovers.

The Warriors have a nine-game win streak in Phoenix, their longest active win streak against any opponent on the road.

Suns: Rookie SF Cameron Johnson made his first career start on Monday, totaling eight points, four assists and three steals. He also posterized Lakers C JaVale McGee on a rim-rattling dunk. Johnson got the start ahead of Kelly Oubre Jr., who was held out of the starting lineup for disciplinary reasons. Oubre played 28 minutes vs. LA and is expected to start vs. the Warriors.

Booker leads the Suns in scoring (26.4 ppg, 49.9 FG pct.), is second in assists (6.3) has scored in double figures in each of the 51 games in which he has played. 

Baynes, Kaminsky and Saric have combined for 81 starts, coming off the bench 32 times.

Other players in key roles off the bench are PG Javon Carter and G/F Elie Okobo.

The Suns over their last three first quarters averaged 37.7 ppg, on 69.0-percent shooting, including 60 percent from beyond the arc. 

Phoenix leads the NBA in points per possession in transition (1.19), ranks second in assists per game (26.9) and fifth in points off turnovers (18.2).

The Suns are No. 1 in free-throw percentage at 82.0 percent, just ahead of the No. 2-ranked Warriors (81.0 percent).

Officials: Rodney Mott (crew chief), Kevin Cutler, Derek Richardson.