After a day off, Bahamians Chavano “Buddy” Hield and DeAndre Ayton returned to the court on Wednesday night for their respective teams, and once again, both came up on the losing end.
Hield and the Sacramento Kings fell 127-106 to the Detroit Pistons in Detroit, Michigan. They have now lost six straight games and are slowly slipping out of playoff contention in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Kings now have a 15-29 win-loss record and are tied for 13th in the west.
Hield had 14 points on the night and dished out five assists in 29 minutes of play.
At the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, Ayton and the Phoenix Suns fell 112-87 to the Indiana Pacers. The Suns now have an 18-26 record on the season and sit three spots from the eighth spot. They are two and a half games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies.
Ayton finished the game with 10 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes of play. He had an off night as he finished an uncharacteristic 5-for-12 from the field and had a season-low eight rebounds.
In the game against the Pistons, Hield and the Kings kept it close up until the end of the first quarter, going down 26-25 after one.
In the second quarter the Pistons increased the tempo, taking a 57-50 lead at halftime. It was more of the same in the third quarter as the Kings had no answer for the Pistons who were without All-Star center Andre Drummond.
The Pistons pulled away further in the fourth quarter to win going away. They went to the free throw line 44 times in the game and converted 37 of them. The Kings committed 28 fouls to the Pistons’ 19.
It was not a pretty night for Hield and the Kings from the three-point territory as they shot just 28.6 percent from downtown. Hield, in particular, finished 6-for-16 from the field and 2-for-9 from three-point land.
He is averaging 19.2 points in the month of January and is shooting 42.3 percent from the field with a 36.7 percent clip from three-point territory.
De’Aaron Fox led the way for the Kings with 22 points and three assists.
Ayton and his Suns were stifled by the Pacers throughout. They held the Suns team to 35.7 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent shooting from three-point land.
The Pacers ended the first quarter ahead, 30-24.
The 2018 number one pick in the NBA grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup for his first points of the game. He finished the first quarter with four points.
Both teams scored 24 points in the quarter, and the Pacers went into the half up 54-48.
The Pacers decided to increase the intensity in the second half. They outscored the Suns 58-39 to win comfortably.
This game was an anomaly for Ayton as he is averaging 18.5 points per game (ppg.) and 12 rebounds per game (rpg.) this month while shooting 54.4 percent from the field.
He has seen an increase in his points and rebounds this season, averaging 17.6 ppg and 11.9 rpg. It is a slight improvement from his 16.3 ppg and 10.3 rpg in his rookie year.
The NBA sophomore and the Suns will head to San Antonio, Texas, to seek revenge against a hot San Antonio Spurs team tonight. That game is set for 8:30 p.m. The Spurs are winners of three straight games and won the last outing between them and the Suns, 120-118, two games ago.
Hield signed a multi-year, multimillion-dollar deal with the Kings right before the start of the season.
This season he is averaging a team-high 20 ppg. – just shy of the 20.7 ppg. he averaged last season. Hield is shooting a career-low 41.6 percent from the field a career-low 36 percent from three-point territory.
With just under a half of the season remaining, Hield has made 156 three-pointers – third in the league this season.
The Kings will be in action tonight when they head to Chicago, Illinois, to play the Chicago Bulls at 8 p.m., looking to end their six-game losing streak.