One point shy of advancing, Heat’s Wayne Ellington knocked out in first round of 3-point contest

Miami’s Wayne Ellington missed advancing in the 3-point contest by one point. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – Wayne Ellington was one shot shy of advancing to the finals in Saturday’s 3-point shootout at the Staples Center.

The Heat’s sharpshooter had 17 points in his only round, which placed fourth among the eight contestants, the top three advancing.

Ellington, participating in his first All-Star Weekend started slow before heating up. He made nine in a row before missing his final two shots, including the money ball that would have put him in the finals. Ellington, who made 11 one-point shots and three money balls worth two points, was knocked out when Golden State’s Klay Thompson totaled 19 points.

“I started too slow,” said Ellington, who made just one of his first five shots. “Unfortunately, I was a little cold to start. I needed that last money ball at the end. That would have pushed me over. I needed to make it or I needed Klay to miss that. We need to check the tape to make sure that was good. I don’t know if he got it off in time.”

Phoenix’s Devin Booker was the winner with 28 points in the final round. Booker and Thompson had 19 points and the Clippers’ Tobias Harris had 18 to advance.

Thompson finished in the 25 points and Harris with 17 in the final round.

“He has a nice stroke and he showed it tonight,” Ellington said of Booker.

Ellington’s streak of nine straight was the longest of the night.

“I started catching a rhythm,” he said. “That’s all that was and that’s all I needed to do to see two go in in a row and we’re good from there.”

Washington’s Bradley Beal (15), defending champion Eric Gordon of Houston (12), Toronto’s Kyle Lowry (11) and OKC’s Paul George (9) finished behind Ellington.

Ellington was the second shooter and was not knocked out until Thompson’s round. Thompson was up seventh.

“It’s tough when you’re that third [place] guy,” Ellington said. “Like I keep saying I wish I would have made that last money ball so I could’ve been sitting at the top looking down. But when you’re that third guy you’re going to feel a little anxiety.”

Ellington had the seventh-best odds to win at 15-to-1, according to Sports Betting Dime, only ahead of Harris (50-to-1). Thompson was the favorite at 7-to-3, with Gordon (4-to-1), Booker (6-to-1), Beal (7-to-1), George (10-to-1) and Lowry (14-to-1) also in front of Ellington.

Reggie Miller, one of the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history, picked Ellington as his dark horse.

“It feels good that all the work that I’ve been putting in, all the dedication and commitment to my craft I’ve made is paying off for me,” said Ellington, who ranks fifth in the NBA in 3-pointers made this season with 168. “I look forward to taking that next step.”

Ellington is the seventh Heat player to participate in the 3-point contest with four winners: Glen Rice in 1995, Jason Kapono in 2007, Daequan Cook in 2009 and James Jones in 2011.

Ellington said he will get to back to Miami and spend a day on the beach before the team returns to practice for the final 25 games of the season.

“If anything, I’m a little more determined right now,” he said. “I didn’t finish the way I wanted to.”

[LeBron James responds to Fox News host: ‘I definitely will not shut up and dribble’]

[Heat guard Goran Dragic on what he’ll do when All-Star Game turns into dunk contest: ‘Pass the ball’]

[If Cleveland’s Kevin Love has any animosity toward Dwyane Wade he’s not showing it]

[Ray Allen made biggest shot in Heat history and now is a Hall of Fame finalist; Tim Hardaway not on list]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]