DALLAS -- Even when he was nursing a foot injury that sidelined him last week, Celtics captain Paul Pierce insisted it meant a lot to him to participate in the 3-point Shootout at All-Star weekend, eager to redeem himself for his poor performance in his only other appearance eight years ago.
Pierce more than atoned, sinking 15 shots, including all five money balls, for a final-round score of 20 that lifted him past Golden State's Stephen Curry (17) and Denver's Chauncey Billups (14) to capture this year's title at the American Airlines Center Saturday night.
"I really took pride in it from 2002 when I came in and stunk it up," said Pierce. "This is something I really wanted to do, and really want to show everybody that I could put up a better performance and what better way than by bringing home the trophy."
As for his success on the money ball, Pierce compared it to crunch time in a regular game.
"Hey, it's just like being a fourth-quarter player," said Pierce. "When you need it, those are the biggest shots. I think I've been know to hit big shots throughout my career. Even when I wasn't shooting the [1-point shots] well, I was really focused on making the money ball. That was something that carried me throughout the competition."
Pierce, who missed two games before the All-Star break due to a left mid-foot sprain, said his foot felt fine during the competition.
"It felt good," said Pierce. "I really didn't think about it. It's getting better these last few days with rest and it's really feeling good. I probably won't play too much [Sunday] in the All-Star Game, get a chance to rest and get some treatment for the next couple days until we start our [four-game] road trip in Sacramento on Tuesday."
See the full round-by-round totals after the jump.
Stephen Curry - 18 (16 1-point; 1 money ball)
Paul Pierce - 17 (11 1-point; 3 money ball)
Chauncey Billups - 17 (13 1-point, 2 money ball)
Danilo Gallinari - 15 (7 1-point, 4 money ball)
Daequan Cook* - 15 (11 1-point, 2 money ball)
Pierce - 20 (10 1-point, 5 money ball)
Curry - 17 (11 1-point, 3 money ball)
Billups - 14 (10 1-point, 2 money ball)
* denotes defending champion