Saturday, Feb 22, 2020
Homenewsletter-sports‘Buddy’ lights up the champs, albeit in a loss

‘Buddy’ lights up the champs, albeit in a loss

BAhamian Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield continued his torrid shooting, exploding for a side-high 32 points while knocking down a career-high eight three-pointers, albeit in a 127-123 loss for the Sacramento Kings to the two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

In a game which had an NBA record of 41 combined three-point shots, the Bahamian sharp shooter made sure to get his. Hield finished 8-for-13 from distance, second in the made department only to Golden State’s Stephen Curry who was 10-for-20. They are second and third in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in three-pointers made this season, trailing just Houston’s James Harden.

Reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Harden has 167, Curry is second with 148 and Hield is third at 128. Only Curry is shooting a better percentage than Hield among those with a higher volume of shots.

Shrugging off the career-high eight three pointers, Hield was more focused on the loss – the fourth straight for the Kings, and one that dropped them to a 19-20 win-loss record on the season.

“We were not too far off, just a couple of possessions. They sensed it, but it’s going to come. It might not be this year, but maybe next year,” said Hield afterwards, as quoted by ESPN.

The Kings have now dropped below .500 for the first time since the end of November, and are 10th in the west – one and a half games out of the final playoff spot.

Hield erupted for 17 points in the third quarter to help the Kings take a 103-96 lead into the fourth, but then he was shut out in the fourth as the Warriors came back for the huge road victory at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, USA.

Curry had 20 of his game-high 42 points in the fourth quarter, including five three-point shots, to help the Warriors come back against the Kings. Kevin Durant added 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 20 points to help the Warriors take a 3-0 lead in the season series against Sacramento. The three games have been decided by a total of 10 points.

Percentage-wise, the Kings were actually more lethal than the Warriors. Led by Hield, they drilled a franchise record of 20 three-point shots on 36 attempts. The Warriors were 21-for-47 from beyond the three-point arc.

Justin Jackson had a career-high 28 points for Sacramento, and Willie Cauley-Stein helped out with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Bogdan Bogdanovic had 17 points for the Kings, and was 3-for-8 from distance.

The man for Sacramento was Hield though.

He helped the Kings get back in the game after they trailed by as much as 16 in the opening quarter. The Kings pulled to within 70-69 at the half, and then Hield’s torrid shooting in the third pushed them ahead by seven, 103-96, at the end of three. However, former two-time league MVP Curry returned the favor in the fourth, leading the Warriors’ late charge.

The way Hield is playing right now, he’s certainly in the conversation for an all-star appearance. The fans will vote for the starters and the league’s 30 head coaches will choose the reserves.

In the fan voting process, Bahamians could vote for Hield at the website and with the NBA App (available on Android and iOS). Voting will conclude on Monday, January 21 at 11:59 p.m.

All-star starters and team captains will be announced live on TNT (Turner Network Television) on Thursday, January 24, during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m., featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The Eastern Conference and Western Conference all-star reserves will be announced the following week on Thursday, January 31.

The 68th NBA All-Star Game is set for Sunday, February 17 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

As for Hield, he is averaging career-high numbers almost across the board and has developed into one of the league’s deadliest shooters and most exciting young players. Hield is averaging 20.5 points and five rebounds per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from the three-point range. Among shooting guards, he ranks third in three-point goals and fifth in three-point shooting, but only Curry is shooting a better percentage among those with a greater volume of shots.

Hield is averaging 29.3 points in three games in January. He is shooting 55.6 percent from the floor in those three games, and 60 percent from distance. Hield has 22 three-point shots in his last four games. He had a career-high 37 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 19, and had 59 three-point shots in December – the most he’s ever had in any month in his three-year career.

The NBA’s All-Star game will bring together some of the most talented players in the league, and is expected to reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the game for the 17th consecutive year, and Hield is making his case for an appearance.

The third-year guard from Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama, is averaging over 20 points for the first time in his NBA career. He is on pace to hit 269 this year, which would be a career-high for him. He hit 176 all of last year, and shot 43.1 percent from distance.

The 6’4” 26-year-old shooting guard of the Kings leads all third-year players in scoring, three-pointers made and three-point percentage among those with at least 200 attempts. He has started every game at two-guard for the Kings this season and is averaging a career-high 31.5 minutes per game.

Hield and the Kings will host the Orlando Magic at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento tonight before traveling to face fellow Bahamian DeAndre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns at the Talking Stick Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday. They will return to the Golden 1 Center for a three-game homestand starting on Thursday, and will then go on a six-game road trip.

Sheldon Longley

Sports Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting

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