By InsideHoops.com

It’s 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend, Saturday night, and we’re up to the NBA Three-Point Shootout. Jason Kapono won it last year.

Richard Hamilton is up first. He hit 2 shots on the first rack, 4 on the second, 3 on the third, 3 on the fourth, and 4 on the last — but two of his last-rack shots were discounted by the refs because Rip stepped on the line. Hamilton actually shot well but did not hit a single money-ball except on the very last rack, but that shot was one of the shots discounted by the refs. Rip’s final score wound up being 14.

Daniel Gibson went second, and started from the nontraditional left side. He struggled early, but then picked things up. Gibson hit 1 shot on the first rack, 4 shots (including a money-ball) on the second rack, 3 shots (including a money-ball) on the third rack, 3 shots on the fourth rack, and 3 shots (including a money-ball) on the last rack, getting 17.

Steve Nash went third, also starting from the left side, and was awful from start to finish, getting a pathetic 9 points. They should have let InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner shoot.

Dirk Nowitzki was next, continuing the new tradition of starting from the left side. He shot a very long, slow, high-arc release which wasn’t very fitting for this competition. After a slow start he picked it up, and on the five racks he hit 1, 5, 3, 3 and 3 shots, with money-balls on the second and fourth racks. Dirk finished with 17.

Next is Peja Stojakovic, starting from the right side. He hit just one shot in the first rack and his first money-ball attempt hit the side of the backboard. His struggles continued until he got to the top of the key, which he rocked. And then stepped up on the last rack. In the five shooting areas Peja hit 1, 2, 3, 3 and 4 shots, with money-balls on the third and fourth racks. He got 15 points.

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Last up is defending three-point champion Jason Kapono, who starts from the left side. He is shooting very quickly and did well all-around, though missing the money-balls, but rocked in the end when he needed it. From the five racks he hit 2, 4, 3, 4 and 5 shots, with money-balls on the second and fifth racks. Kapono finished with an awesome 20 points.

Reaching the second and final round is Kapono, Dirk and Gibson.

Starting first is Gibson, shooting very quickly, picking up steam halfway through and again at the end. The money-ball saved him. In the five racks he hit 2, 2, 3, 2 and 4 shots with money-balls on the first, third, fourth and fifth racks, finishing with 17.

Nowitzki is up second, high arc and all, and did decently but struggled with money-balls. In the five racks he hit 1, 4, 2, 3 and 3 shots, with just one money-ball, the very last shot. He got 14 points.

Kapono must beat 17 to win it. And unleashed one of the best performances ever, hitting every single money-ball, and on the five racks making 3, 5, 4, 4 and 4 shots, finishing with an awesome 24 points.

As always, this was a fun competition.

Kapono repeats as the three-point shootout champion.

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