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The 2023 WNBA All-Star Weekend got underway on Friday with the Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest. Sabrina Ionescu stole the show in the 3-Point Contest with a record-setting performance in the championship round. She hit 20 shots in a row at one point, missed just twice and finished with 37 points, a record for a WNBA or NBA contest. 

Ionescu's effort was a bit of revenge for the Skills Challenge, where she and Courtney Vandersloot were defeated in the championship round by Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum of Team Aces. Gray, the reigning Finals MVP, came up clutch once again in that event to seal the trophy for her team. 

Here's a look back at an exciting afternoon of hoops:

3-Point Contest

Closing out Friday's action was the 3-Point Contest, which largely followed the classic format that has made it a staple event for both WNBA and NBA All-Star Weekends. The main difference with this year's contest was the addition of two "Starry" balls, which were placed well behind the 3-point line and worth three points each. 

The stars of the first round were Sami Whitcomb and Sabrina Ionescu, who each hit both of the "Starry" balls worth three points and were consistent across all five racks. Whitcomb poured in 28 points for the highest first-round score, while Ionescu finished with 26 points. Joining them in the championship round was Arike Ogunbowale, who came up clutch on the "money ball" rack, making four out of five to advance. 

DiJonai Carrington finished strong after a slow start, but didn't quite make the cut, while Kelsey Mitchell and Jackie Young both struggled to find the range and ended up running out of time. It wouldn't have mattered in the end, but Young didn't even bother to shoot one of the "Starry shots for some reason. 

First-round results:

Sami Whitcomb: 28 points

Sabrina Ionescu: 26 points

Arike Ogunbowale: 21 points

DiJonai Carrington: 18 points (Eliminated)

Kelsey Mitchell: 15 points (Eliminated)

Jackie Young: 15 points (Eliminated)

The championship round featured an all-time performance from Ionescu, who poured in a record-setting 37 points. That is the highest score ever recorded for a WNBA or NBA contest. She made 20 shots in a row at one point, both "Starry" shots and went 25-of-27 in total. 

"I was just focused on making one at a time," Ionescu said. "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." 

Whitcomb finished with a respectable 24 points, but even that was nowhere near enough. Ogunbowale was unable to find a rhythm in her second go-around and finished with just 11 points, which was the lowest score of the entire competition. 

Championship round results:

Ionescu: 37 points

Whitcomb: 24 points (Eliminated)

Ogunwobale: 11 points (Eliminated

Skills Challenge

The actual on-court aspect of the Skills Challenge remained the same this year, as the players navigated an obstacle course that tested their abilities in all aspects of the game. However, the format was changed to a team competition featuring four pairs of All-Star teammates. 


Team Aces

Chelsea Gray, Jackie Young

Team Dream

Allisha Gray, Cheyenne Parker

Team Liberty

Sabrina Ionescu, Courtney Vandersloot

Team Wings

Arike Ogunbowale, Satou Sabally

In the first round, the Dream took things a bit casually and finished in last place, while the Wings were also eliminated. It's worth noting that both of those teams included a big, while the Aces and Liberty had two point guards, which gave them an advantage. Those two squads also seemed to take the event the most seriously, which matters a lot in timed competitions. 

First-round results:

  • Aces: 45.9 seconds
  • Liberty: 47.8 seconds
  • Wings: 52.6 seconds (Eliminated)
  • Dream: 58.7 seconds (Eliminated)

The championship round turned about to be anticlimactic. Both Courtney Vandersloot and Sabrina Ionescu really struggled with the 3-point shooting aspects of the competition and needed nearly a minute to complete the circuit. Their 58-second mark was the second-worst of the entire event. 

While Kelsey Plum was off with her shot in the title round, Chelsea Gray was not. The reigning Finals MVP is one of the most clutch players in the league and she took care of business to win the event for Team Aces with plenty of time to spare. 

Championship round results: 

  • Aces: 45 seconds
  • Liberty: 58.0 seconds (eliminated)

"I was practicing beforehand to try and make as many as possible," Gray said. "This is a cool event, this is exciting, so I'm happy."