Bahamian Chavano “Buddy” Hield had one of his better games of the season on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough as the Sacramento Kings fell to the Houston Rockets, 118-112, at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
For the Kings, it ended a two-game winning streak and came just two days after they defeated that same Rockets team, 126-114.
The 29-year-old Bahamian sharp shooting guard was just a basket short of his season-high in points, dropping in 27 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field. He was 5-for-9 from deep. Hield added five rebounds, four steals and two assists on 30 minutes on the floor. Hield is averaging 15.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists this season – just the second in his six years in the league as a role player off the bench.
Hield is shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range – both career-lows. However, he remains second in the league in three-pointers made this season, trailing Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Hield has hit 165 three-pointers this season, second just to Curry’s 192. Also, he became the fastest to 1,200 career three-point shots this season, and also surpassed the most three-pointers recorded in the first 400 games of a player’s career.
On Sunday, Hield entered the game at the 7:13 mark of the opening quarter and immediately went to work. He buried his only two three-point attempts in the opening quarter and finished 4-for-5 from the floor in total for 11 points, and he added a rebound. Still, the Kings fell behind early as they trailed 29-21 after the opening quarter. The Rockets actually led 13-0 and 21-5 before the Kings got going.
Hield went scoreless in the second quarter but the Kings roared back, scoring 39 points as a team in that frame and taking a 60-55 lead at the break.
Hield had six points in the third, including burying his only three-point attempt and the Kings led 88-85 going into the fourth.
The Bahamian did all he could in the fourth and final quarter, leading his team in scoring, but their defense fell apart and the Rockets escaped with a narrow win. Hield scored 10 of the Kings’ 24 points in the fourth, going 3-for-6 from the field and 2-for-4 from deep. However, a clutch basket by Eric Gordon – a player with Bahamian roots – with 12.5 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Rockets.
Hield had a game-high points performance in defeat. Terence Davis added 17 points, Davion Mitchell had 16 off the bench and De’Aaron Fox scored 14 before getting ejected in the fourth quarter after being called for a Flagrant 2 Foul. Chimezie Metu also had 14 points for the Kings and Harrison Barnes added 12. The Kings were down 95-92 at the time of Fox’s ejection.
Christian Wood had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets. Kevin Porter Jr. added 23 points and seven assists for them, Garrison Mathews scored 17, and Gordon and Jalen Green had 15 points apiece.
The Rockets took control with an 18-7 scoring run at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Kings got to within a single a point a couple times after that but could never surge ahead. After Sacramento got to within 114-112 with 47.8 seconds remaining, Green grabbed an offensive rebound and fed it low to Gordon who scored. Porter added two free throws to complete the scoring.
Hield and the Kings will stay home to host the Detroit Pistons this Wednesday before going on the road for five games to end in January.