The Utah Jazz have embraced the 3-ball this season.

But they couldn’t quite claim the long-ball title.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry narrowly edged Jazz point guard Mike Conley, by a score of 28-27, for the 2021 NBA 3-Point Contest trophy at Sunday’s All-Star game in Atlanta.

Conley put plenty of pressure on the sharpshooting Curry by hitting four of the five balls off his money-ball rack, one of the competition’s two long-range shots, and all five of the balls on the last rack of the final round.

But Curry, one of the game’s all-time great shooters and now a two-time 3-point champ, beat Conley on the final shot of the competition. All the Jazz guard could do was smile and wave goodbye to his chances as Curry’s last shot hung in the air.

“It was funny because during Steph’s round, Donovan and Jaylen [Brown] and everybody next to me kept saying, ‘Uh oh, Mike! Uh oh, Mike!’” Conley said. “I said, ‘Everybody, shut up! Shut up!’ As soon as they started talking, he caught fire. … I knew in the back of my mind what was about to happen. That man is the greatest shooter of all time for a reason. It was fun to compete against him.”

Conley started his first NBA All-Star experience by making an impression, though. The veteran guard left no doubt about whether he would advance to the second round of the 3-point contest when he hit all five of the balls on his money rack and finished with an opening-round score of 28.

Conley, Curry and Boston’s Jayson Tatum all advanced to the final round of the event.

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell was eliminated after one round. Mitchell, who is shooting a career-high 38.2 percent from 3-point range this season, started slowly but finished his first round strong. The Jazz guard went for 22 total points in the round. But Mitchell had to simply smile and shake his head in appreciation as Curry knocked him out of the top-3, and the competition, with a 31-point performance.

“I’m not going to like, I had the highest score in practice,” Mitchell said. “So I was really looking forward to being out there. Unfortunately, it didn’t show so I’m disappointed. But at the end of the day, I’m glad it was Mike out there competing. Steph is Steph. That goes without saying. But to see Mike out there competing for it made me happy.”


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