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NBA's Steph Curry beats WNBA's Sabrina Ionescu in first head-to-head 3-point challenge

Two of the best 3-point shooters faced off in the first NBA-vs.-WNBA long-distance shootout Saturday night during NBA All-Star weekend.
From left, Sabrina Ionescu and Steph Curry.
From left, Sabrina Ionescu and Steph Curry.Getty Images

Steph Curry beat Sabrina Ionescu as two of the best 3-point shooters in basketball history went head-to-head to determine who is really the best on the court right now.

Curry and Ionescu faced off Saturday during the NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis in the first 3-point challenge between the NBA and the WNBA. The special long-distance shootout pitted two of the best to ever do it directly against each other for the first time.

Initially, Curry was supposed to take his shots from the NBA 3-point line using NBA basketballs, while Ionescu was going to shoot from the WNBA line using WNBA balls. But, according to CBS Sports, Ionescu opted to shoot from the NBA line.

“Personally, I shoot from that range to begin with,” Ionescu said, according to CBS Sports. “I practice from that range wanting to be a better shooter and a better basketball player. ... Knowing I had that opportunity to pick what line I wanted to shoot from, it was a no-brainer from when it was first presented that I wanted to shoot from the NBA line.”

Ionesco, shooting first, scored 26 points. She started off strong, making seven of seven shots before missing her first.

Curry said he had “déjà vu” watching the first rack, when Ionesco started off going 5 for 5, referring to her record-breaking performance last year in Las Vegas at WNBA All-Star weekend.

Ionescu said the experience was “amazing” and thanked cheering fans for the support.

“If you can shoot, you can shoot,” Ionescu said after the contest. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or boy. I think it just matters the heart that you have and wanting to be the best that you can be.”

Curry followed up by scoring 29 points, beating Ionescu for the evening, but still trailing both of their previous records.

Curry said “this couldn’t have gone any better” in terms of how they both showed up and gave their all on the court. He said Ionescu “set the bar” and that “it was unbelievable to watch.”

Curry, a point guard for the Golden State Warriors who has made more 3-point shots than anyone else ever to play in the NBA, called the competition “uncharted territory,” according to

His victory earned him a championship belt emblazoned with a goat on either side, a nod to his status as the greatest 3-point shooter of all time.

Ionescu, a guard for the New York Liberty who similarly excels beyond the 3-point line, set the league record for most 3-point shots made in a single season last year. She also holds the title for best 3-point contest performance in NBA or WNBA history, set at last year’s WNBA All-Star weekend.

She said Saturday’s contest was a “pinch-me moment,” reported.

“I don’t think either of us know the gravity and magnitude this could take on,” she said in a Zoom call before the contest, reported. “We’re just excited to be able to do this.”

The idea to have Curry and Ionescu face each other came about after Ionescu’s stellar performance at last year’s WNBA 3-point contest, in which she scored 37 points on 25-of-27 shooting, according to, and squashed Curry’s contest record of 31 points.

According to the NBA, the pair already had a friendship.

“This is what sports is about, competing. … You look for opportunities to raise the bar,” Curry said, according to the NBA.

After her record-breaking contest in Vegas, Ionescu posted on X, challenging Curry to a shootout.

A few days later, Curry accepted her challenge on ESPN, according to CBS Sports.

“I gotta go after Sabrina’s record,” CBS Sports reported Curry saying. “I got something to shoot for now that she went crazy with the 37 points in their All-Star weekend. I guess we gotta settle that one for sure.”

Curry called Ionescu’s 3-point performance in July “ridiculous,” reported. Just last month, he brought it up again to Warriors rookie Brandin Podziemski.

The NBA posted a clip of their conversation on X.

“I think I gotta bring her out. ... We gotta settle this once and for all,” Curry said.

“I think I gotta challenge her,” he said. “It’d be lit.”

Just over 30 minutes later, Ionescu said she was game.

“Let’s getttttt it!!” she replied. “See ya at the 3 pt line @StephenCurry30.”

How it worked

“Stephen vs. Sabrina” followed regular Starry 3-Point Contest rules, the NBA said. The rules are as follows:

There were four ball racks, each with four game balls, worth 1 point each, and one money ball, worth 2 points, the NBA said. A fifth rack featured all money balls.

There were also two Starry Range shots, each worth 3 points, according to the NBA.

Both Curry’s nonprofit organization, Eat.Learn.Play., and Ionescu’s SI20 Foundation will receive donations from the NBA and the WNBA as a part of the competition, the NBA said.

On top of that, State Farm committed to donating to the NBA Foundation to “support economic empowerment in the Black community” for every shot made by either player.

State Farm committed to donating $1,000 for every regular 3-point shot made, $2,000 for every money ball made and $3,000 for every Starry Range shot that made it into the basket.