‘Buddy’ hits key three in a win; Ayton struggles in a loss

Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield hit a go ahead three-pointer for the Sacramento Kings (5-6) with 1:09 left in the game as they defeated the Indiana Pacers (6-4) 127-122 in the National Basketball Association (NBA) at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, on Monday night.

On that same night, the other Bahamian in the NBA, DeAndre Ayton, had a difficult outing in the United States of America’s capital, as his Phoenix Suns (7-4) lost 128-107 to the Washington Wizards (3-8) at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Hield ended the night with 18 points as he shot 6-for-11 from the field. All 11 attempts were from beyond the arc. He also finished the night with four rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of play.

Hield is ranked at number four for three-pointers made with 39. The Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum leads the league with 49 made three-pointers.

Ayton finished the game with eight points and a season-low six rebounds in just under 25 minutes of play. This was his second straight game finishing with eight points as he also scored eight against the Pacers on Saturday night. He finished 4-for-10 from the field on both nights.

The center is ranked sixth in the league with 11.3 rebounds per game. Cleveland Cavaliers’ center Andre Drummond leads the league at 15.1 rebounds per contest.

For the Kings, Hield took just four shots in the first half. His first basket was a 23-footer with 7:02 left in the first quarter, which cut the Pacers’ lead to two points, 12-10. Hield knocked down another three-pointer to give his team a 15-14 lead with 5:41 remaining in the first quarter. The game was tied at 30 heading into the second quarter.

At the half, the Pacers held a slim 65-64 lead. The sharpshooter hit two more three-pointers in the third quarter and the Kings went up 97-93 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Grand Bahama native hit two key three-pointers. After a block by Kings’ center Richaun Holmes, point guard De’Aaron Fox made an extra pass to an open Hield on the right-hand side of the arc. He knocked down the triple with 2:34 remaining in the fourth quarter to give his team a 116-115 lead.

The reigning NBA Three-Point Champion knocked down another triple with 1:09 remaining to make it a two-possession game. The Kings held on for the victory.

Harrison Barnes scored a game-high 30 points for the Kings. Domantas Sabonis finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds in the loss for the Pacers.

In the Suns and Wizards game, the Wizards jumped out to an early 29-15 lead and never looked back. They also controlled the second quarter 39-27 to take a 68-42 lead heading into the intermission.

Ayton went scoreless in the first quarter as he missed all three of his attempts. His first bucket of the game came with 7:00 remaining in the second quarter on a jump shot above the free-throw line. The Wizards led 43-25 at that point.

The number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft could not get it going for the rest of the game.

The Suns outscored the Wizards in the second half, 65-60, but the Wizards’ first-half run was too much for the Suns.

Devin Booker led the way for the Suns with 33 points. Bradley Beal dropped in a game-high 34 points in the victory for the Wizards.

The Suns return to the court tonight when they play the Atlanta Hawks (5-5) at the PHX Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The game is set to get underway at 9 p.m.

The Kings have another home game tonight. They take on the Portland Trail Blazers (6-4) who took them down 125-99 on Saturday. Tip-off time is 10 p.m.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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