As was the case last year, the Eastern Conference got on the board first at All-Star Saturday Night 2014 in New Orleans, with Team Bosh (consisting of Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, Dominique Wilkins and Swin Cash of the WNBA's Chicago Sky) beating Western Conference representatives Team Durant (made up of Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Karl Malone and Skylar Diggins of the WNBA's Tulsa Shock) in the finals of the Sears Shooting Stars, becoming the first back-to-back champions in the event's 11-year history.
In the two-round timed shooting competition, two teams from each conference shoot from four locations of increasing difficulty — a 10-foot shot from the right of the basket, a 20-footer from the top of the key, a 3-pointer from the left wing and a half-court shot — in order, as fast as they can. Each team has up to 90 seconds to complete the course, with the fastest team from each conference moving onto the championship.
Joining Team Bosh representing the East was Team Hardaway, featuring father-son duo Tim Hardaway Jr. of the New York Knicks and Tim Hardaway Sr., as well as Elena Delle Donne of the WNBA's Chicago Sky. Alongside Team Durant in the West was Team Curry, made up of its own father-son team, Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors and dad Dell Curry, as well as Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Stars.
Team Curry entered the competition as the favorites, but were eliminated before the first commercial break when their time of 1:05 was bested by a Durant half-court make at the one-minute mark that advanced Team Durant to the final round.
The other father-and-son squad, Team Hardaway (plus Elena Delle Donne), breezed through its first three shots but struggled mightily from half-court, finishing 1:25. The defending champs scorched that time, despite multiple misses by 'Nique on the up-close bunny, when Bosh splashed through the opening-round-completing half-court try in just 35.6 seconds.
Both teams improved on their opening-round times in the finals, as Team Durant finished in 43.6 seconds, only to be blown away when Bosh hit his second half-courter in three tries at the 31.4-second mark to secure the back-to-back victory.
"We just wanted to come out and defend the title, have fun," Bosh said. "I had the best teammates to my right that I could ask for, and we pulled it through."
Team Bosh won $100,000 for the East's charities, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. As runners-up, Team Durant earned $25,000 for the West's charities, Teach for America and the Wounded Warrior Project. The victors seemed pretty pleased with themselves:
— NBA (@NBA) February 16, 2014
And their captain had a pretty good sense of humor about it:
Media guy, in full sarcasm, to Bosh after 2nd win in a row in Shooting Stars: “Chris, which back-to-back was harder and more satisfying?"
— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) February 16, 2014
Bosh, playing along (thankfully): “It’s tough dealing with expectations, but that’s what champions do. We just find a way." — Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) February 16, 2014
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