The National Basketball Association’s (wild) Western Conference provided one of it’s most historic shoot-outs this past Saturday night and Grand Bahama’s Chavanno ‘Buddy’ Hield was positioned squarely in the middle of it all.
The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors went toe-to-toe in a western conference showdown where both teams set an NBA record for combined made threes, 41. The Warriors came out on the winning end, however, 127-123 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
The 6’4” Kings’ shooting guard led the charge with 32 points fortified by a career-high of eight three-pointers. Hield was lights out as he shot 12-for-21 from the field at 57 percent clip and eight-for-13 from three-point range (62 percent). He also grabbed five rebounds to go with four assists.
Justin Jackson added a career-high 28 points, and Willie Cauley-Stein had 14 points and 13 rebounds.
The Kings as a collective set a franchise-record in made threes, 20, in comparison to the Warriors’ 21 made attempts.
Two-time MVP Steph Curry dropped 20 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter to hold the Kings off. The sharpshooter went 10-for-20 from the great beyond, and collected five rebounds on the night.
Two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant chipped in with 29 points on the night along with five boards and nine assists. The teams exchanged 15-0 runs in the first half.
Golden State made four consecutive three pointers, including a four-point play by Quinn Cook, and Durant soared through the key for an emphatic two-handed dunk that put the Warriors up 37-22 in the first quarter.
The Kings began their surge in the second quarter off the strength of their three-point shooting.
Sacramento trailed by 16 points, but made it a 70-69 game at the end of the first half in favor of the Warriors.
The Kings began to roll in the third quarter. Hield buried five three pointers in the third quarter when Sacramento turned an 81-73 deficit into a 103-96 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Hield continues to lead the team with an average of 20.5 points per game. He is also shooting at 47.5 percent clip from the field and 44.1 percent clip from the three-point arch.
The Pinedale, Eight Mile Rock native has emerged as one of the league’s certified threats from the great beyond. At this point in the season Hield ranks third in made three-pointers, 128, behind the Houston Rockets’ James Harden, who leads the league with 167, and Curry who sits in second with 148. He is ranked 11th in the three-point percentage department at 44.1 percent.
The loss, their fourth straight, dropped the Kings to 19-20 on the season for 10th place in the Western Conference. They will look to get back on the winning side of things when they take on the Orland Magic tonight at Golden 1 Center. Tip-off time is 10:00 p.m. eastern time.
(All-star voting is still ongoing. Those interested can cast a vote at NBA.com. All-Star ballots close January 21, 2019 at 11:59 p.m).