The hot and cold of the 3-point contest

Devin Booker's final score of 28 points was the standard of excellence in the 2018 3-point shootout. Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty

The defending champion was in this year's contest, as was the 2016 champion. But Eric Gordon and Klay Thompson had to cede the crown to a new shooter in this year's 3-point contest.

Devin Booker
Phoenix Suns
Guard | Grade: A-plus

Round 1: 19

Round 2: 28 (winner)

While it's not a fair comparison because the NBA added the moneyball rack in 2014, giving players an opportunity to score up to 34 points instead of the previous maximum of 30, Booker's score of 28 surpassed Stephen Curry in 2015 and Klay Thompson in 2016 (27 apiece) as the highest ever in a final round. Booker went 9-of-10 on his last two racks to blow away the competition.

Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards
Guard | Grade: C

Round 1: 15

Beal made four of five on his moneyball rack, but not enough other shots. He scored just one point through the first two racks, putting him hopelessly behind.

Wayne Ellington
Miami Heat
Guard | Grade: B

Round 1: 17

Ellington caught fire late in his round, making nine consecutive shots. Alas, it was too late as Ellington fell one point shy of advancing.

Paul George
Oklahoma City Thunder
Forward | Grade: F

Round 1: 9

Playing in front of family and friends, George had a disappointing performance, drawing some scattered boos from the crowd as he missed shot after shot. George finished shy of double figures, joining Kyle Lowry from last year as the lone two players since the moneyball rack was added to finish with single digits.

Eric Gordon
Houston Rockets
Guard | Grade: C-minus

Round 1: 12

Looks like 2018 is not the year of Eric Gordon, at least in the 3-point contest. The defending champion, who was wearing the Rockets' Chinese New Year jerseys to celebrate this weekend's holiday, never could find his rhythm and was eliminated in the first round.

Tobias Harris
LA Clippers
Forward | Grade: B-plus

Round 1: 18

Round 2: 17

Harris gave Clippers fans a reason to cheer (and chant "Let's go Clippers") by starting hot and reaching the finals even after missing his last five shots (including a rushed air ball on the final one). Harris then made 13 of his first 15 shots in the finals, but just two of his last 10.

Kyle Lowry
Toronto Raptors
Guard | Grade: D

Round 1: 11

Well, at least Lowry made double figures this time. Running low on time, he was forced to race through his final rack, which was problematic because Lowry put all five moneyballs at the end. He made just one.

Klay Thompson
Golden State Warriors
Guard | Grade: A

Round 1: 19

Round 2: 25

The hometown favorite, Thompson hit his final three shots -- all moneyballs -- to tie for the high score in the first round with 19. After Booker set a high standard in the final round, Thompson kept things interesting for a while before falling short despite the second-best round of the night.