Quentin Richardson Rains Threes, Takes Title
DENVER, Feb. 19 (Ticker) - Quentin Richardson burned the local favorite by revealing a hot hand.
Not noted for his long-range marksmanship, Richardson put on a dazzling display late that brought back visions of the legendary Larry Bird and Craig Hodges.
Richardson had eight points through his first three racks before catching fire to finish with 19 and take home the top prize of $25,000.
"I felt like I was shooting a little too hard so the first shot (in the second round) I tried to shoot softer and it got a little too soft,'' said Richardson, whose first attempt of the night was an airball. "Then I got it going."
"(After Richardson started out slow) I was just worried about Voshon but then he (Richardson) got hot," Korver said. "Good for him. If he knocks down two racks in a row then he deserves to win."
Korver also has the confidence that he will capture this event down the road.
"I'm going to win this thing one of these years," he said. "It's going to happen. I don't know which year but it's going to happen."
Competing despite suffering a torn Achillies tendon in the season opener, Lenard, the shooting guard of the Denver Nuggets, had a chance to wow the home crowd and overtake Richardson.
But Lenard, who dethroned two-time defending champion Peja Stojakovic of the Sacramento Kings last year, never found his rhythm and tallied 16 points.
"He (Richardson) heated up," Lenard said. "He's a good shooter. Hopefully I'll see him next year."
Clearly not in any sort of playing shape due to his injury, the bloated Lenard led the way in the first round by scoring 17 points. Ten came on the "money ball," the red, white and blue balls in rack that are worth two points each.
"It's tought when you don't play all year and then you go out there and shoot against some of the best guys in the NBA. I thought held my own," Lenard said.
Richardson and Korver joined Lenard in the finals by each scoring 14 points. They narrowly bested 2001 winner Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics, who scored 13 points.
Joe Johnson of the Suns Vladimir Radmanovic of the Sonics scored eight and six points, respectively.