Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson equaled teammate Stephen Curry’s NBA All-Star weekend record a year ago by tallying 27 final-round points to emerge as the 3-Point Contest champion. Thompson enters this year’s competition as a strong +110 betting favorite to successfully defend his title at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Thompson’s performance at last season’s event was an indicator of his performance down the stretch, with the five-year veteran connecting on at least five 3-pointers in 11 regular-season games after his contest victory.
The Warriors star now appears to be ready to defend his crown at Saturday night’s 3-Point Contest at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans after closing out the unofficial first half of the campaign with seven buckets from beyond the arc in Golden State’s 109-86 rout of the Sacramento Kings as 18 1/2-point home favorites Wednesday.
Thompson has also hit for six or more 3-pointers in four of his past seven outings, lifting him to fifth in the NBA this season with 182 total 3-point field goals made. He will face stiff competition from 2013 3-Point Contest winner Kyrie Irving, who closely trails on the props at +400.
Irving was a Warrior slayer in last season’s NBA Finals, averaging 27.1 points per game in the Cavaliers’ seven-game series victory over Golden State, but he has drained more than four 3-pointers just once in his past 12 games.
Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum finished a distant seventh in last year’s competition, but sits as a +800 bet to claim this year’s contest title. A trio of shooters then are deadlocked at +900 on the 3-Point Contest odds, including Kyle Lowry, Eric Gordon and Nick Young, while Kemba Walker and Wes Matthews sit at a distant +1100.
Two-time defending champion Zach LaVine is sidelined by injury for the remainder of the season, so this year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest will crown a new winner. Orlando Magic power forward Aaron Gordon leads the way as the -155 favorite.
Gordon fell short in his duel with LaVine a year ago, and recently returned from a foot injury, but is expected to be fine to compete Saturday night.
Earlier this week, Phoenix forward Derrick Jones Jr. gave fans a taste of what to expect in Saturday’s contest with a trio of highlight-reel dunks in the Suns’ 137-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers as 4 1/2-point home chalk on the NBA betting lines. Jones sports strong +130 odds, while Deandre Jordan sits at +800, followed by Glenn Robinson III at +900.
Thumbnail photo via Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports Images
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