SALT LAKE CITY — Damian Lillard represented his school and his brand.
And he did them both proudly.
The Portland Trail Blazers star and Oakland native won the 3-point game on NBA All-Star Saturday, defeating Indiana teammates Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton in the final round. Loved won the competition last year.
Lillard wore a Weber State jersey with “Dolla” on the back. Weber State is his university; he plays music under the name Dame DOLLA. And when he got the trophy, he was wearing a Blazers warm-up shirt for the moment.
“They say third time is the charm,” said Lillard, who took his first three-point title in his third attempt at the event. “And I’m glad it happened here. It’s a perfect situation. I’m glad I did it in my house back here in Utah.
Lillard won the final round by 26 points. Loved had 25 and Haliburton scored 17.
Lillard played his college games in Ogden, Utah, about half an hour outside of Salt Lake City. And the historic consequences of finally achieving a 3-point title did not escape him.
“The best shooters in the history of our game, most of them have one,” said Lillard, holding the trophy. “I just wanted to do it once. And now I have it, so I can stop.
Haliburton won the first round by 31 points. Lillard had 26 and Hield had 23.
Eliminated in the first round were Jayson Tatum of Boston, Lauri Markkanen of Utah, Tyler Herro of Miami, Julius Randle of New York and Kevin Huerter of Sacramento.
Utah won on Saturday night to open All-Star.
The Jazz – a roster consisting of Utah players Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler and Collin Sexton – won Saturday night’s Skill Challenge, winning in two of the three competitions.
“It feels good, especially to do it for the home side,” said Sexton.
The Rooks placed second, with Orlando’s Paolo Banchero, Detroit’s Jaden Ivey and Houston’s Jabari Smith Jr. who received 100 points.
“I had a lot of fun doing that, even though we took the L,” said Banchero, who was part of the winning squad in Friday’s Rising Stars games. “It was really nice to be there in front of the fans. Skills Challenge, saw that all the time growing up on All-Star Weekend. So to be a part of it was great.
The Antetokounmpos placed third, with Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Alex Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday – a substitute for injured Milwaukee Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo – being shut out.
The Rooks won the team relay for 100 points, having set the best time on a course where teams had to complete a 35-foot outlet pass, dribble down, short jumper, left hook 3-pointer, and then dunk on the Other end.
The next event was the team’s passing, won by the Jazz – giving them 100 points – after being the most accurate in a series of 35-foot outlet passes, 20-foot bounce passes, and 25-foot chest passes.
It ended with the Team Shooting event – worth 200 points – with the Jazz prevailing there to take the win.
“We did it for Utah, man,” Clarkson said.