Before the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, Stephen Curry issued Damian Lillard a friendly Twitter challenge to both launch a half-court shot in the first game of the season. We’re not talking an end-of-quarter or end-of-shot-clock heave. We’re talking a legit half-courter.
Neither guy followed through at any point though the first half of the season, but on Sunday night they both made good on their side of the bargain by drilling consecutive half-court bombs to close the first half of the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta:
As CBS Sports’ resident Dame defender, I’m going to have to point out that Lillard was legitimately behind the half-court line, while Curry was a step inside. Also, Jordan was a half step inside the free-throw line on that famous “free-throw-line” dunk in 1988. Yeah, I’m zero fun. But who are we without our integrity?
Kidding aside, this was an astounding display of marksmanship from Lillard and Curry, the latter of whom never bothered to cool down after winning the 3-Point Contest on his final money ball earlier in the night. Curry finished the first half with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 6 of 8 from deep, and even threw in an alley-oop dunk for good measure:
Shortly thereafter, Curry found Chris Paul for his own alley-oop jam:
Per ESPN Stats and Info, neither Curry nor Paul has ever been on the receiving end of an alley-oop dunk at any point in their Hall of Fame careers … until now. That it happened on consecutive possessions will go down as a pretty memorable All-Star moment.
Earlier in the half, Curry hit a casual logo 3 off an assist from LeBron James:
Meanwhile, Lillard finished the first half with 16 points on 4 of 7 from deep. He didn’t have any splashy highlights other than the half-court shot, but, just circling back to that shootout with Curry to close the first half, that was seriously one for the ages. It will go down as one of the most memorable All-Star moments in history.
After the buzzer sounded on the half, the two made sure to embrace one another. Lillard and Curry share a deep — so to speak — respect for each other as the two deadliest super-long-range gunners in NBA history. That meant something to both of them. Pretty cool stuff.