Sabrina Ionescu sets WNBA and NBA all-time record in three-point contest


For a basketball sharpshooter, there’s no higher praise than being complemented by Steph Curry.

The NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers made has had a transformative effect on the way the sport is played, such is his accurateness from beyond the three-point arc.

So when Curry calls something in the realm of basketball shooting “RIDICULOUS,” the achievement must be noteworthy. And indeed, what Sabrina Ionescu did on Friday evening was, in fact, ridiculous.

Ionescu set a WNBA and NBA all-time record for a single round score in the three-point contest during All-Star weekend.

The New York Liberty’s point guard scored 37 out of 40 possible points – hitting 25 out of 27 possible shots – as she claimed the three-point contest crown.

The 25-year-old’s extraordinary round surpassed the previous NBA record of 31 by Curry in 2021 and Tyrese Haliburton in 2023 and 30 in the WNBA by Allie Quigley last year.

Quigley herself took to Twitter to praise Ionescu, saying: “UNBELIEVABLE!!! This record won’t ever be broken.”

Ionescu comfortably defeated Seattle Storm’s Sami Whitcomb who came second with 22 points and Dallas Wings’ Arike Ogunbowale in third with 11.

“I was just focused on making one at a time,” Ionescu told the ESPN broadcast. “I wasn’t sure how many I’d miss but I knew it wasn’t a lot. I’m happy to have won this and thankful for the crowd, they were cheering me on the entire time.”

In the three-point contest, players take five shots from five different locations around the three-point line, as well as two attempts from a deeper range. Each rack contains four regular orange balls worth one point apiece, and one multi-colored money ball, which is worth two points. The deeper shots are worth three points.

Each player chooses one of their five racks as their specialized rack and those five balls are all worth two points. On Friday, Ionescu hit every one of her selected specialized shots, earning herself 10 points.

Ionescu will make her second career WNBA All-Star game appearance on Saturday.

The 2023 WNBA All-Star game will be played at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. Along with Ionescu, Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner, Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson and Indiana Fever’s Aliyah Boston are some of the big names expected to play.

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