Like clockwork, Buddy Hield got to a quick start, scoring the team’s first points on a mid range jumper. In a quarter where both teams struggled, Buddy Hield was firing on all cylinders. The Buddy Hield Cleveland Cavaliers Highlights would feature Buddy scoring 5 of the team’s first 10 points and help the Pelicans start strong with a 22-15 lead going into the second quarter. Hield’s performance stood out as he was extremely efficient offensively and provided the spark necessary to take advantage of a Cavs team without the services of Kyrie Irving. Irving would sit out with a sore right knee while Kevin Love struggled hitting just 5 of 19 shots (26.3%) to finish with 12 points and 11 rebounds despite playing with a bad flu. Love would play only 24 minutes and sat out most of the fourth quarter.
The Pelicans turned to Buddy Hield often for offense as the team shot less than 38% from the field. Buddy was the only bright spot, connecting on 6 of 13 (46.2%) from the field and 4 of 6 (66.6%) from the 3 point line to finish tied as the team’s leading scorer with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Hield would play 34 minutes, his highest total in his role as a starter and deep into the fourth quarter. Once again, similar to the game against the New York Knicks, Buddy would draw defender fouls while driving aggressively to the hoop and connect 4 of 4 (100%) from the line. Anthony Davis struggled mightily finishing with just 20 points but managed to collect 17 rebounds to go along with a steal and 3 blocked shots. Davis shot 10 of 27 (37%) from the field and simply could not will the Pelicans over the late deficit in the fourth quarter. The Pelicans managed just 13 points in the fourth quarter which ultimately sealed their fate against a tough Cleveland team at home. Buddy scored on a driving layup with just over 4 minutes left in the game to cut the Cavs lead down to 2 points (82-80). In the end, the Pelicans would score just 2 more points for the remainder unable to generate any kind of offense.
The huge difference in this game was bench production. The Pelicans bench were outscored 44-19 and could not provide the reserve scoring which was key during their 4 game win streak. The Cavaliers did enough to win in the end, finishing strong to win the final quarter 23-13 and escape with a victory 90-82 at Quicken Loans Arena. Lebron would save his best for last scoring 10 of his total points in the fourth quarter and led all players with 26 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and a key block on Buddy Hield while attempting a driving layup before the end of regulation. Head Coach Alvin Gentry argued with referees during timeout that Hield was fouled to no avail. Key players for the Cavs were Channing Frye (14 points, 6 rebounds), Kay Felder (12 points, 2 assists) and Richard Jefferson (12 points, 12 rebounds) who provided huge contributions down the stretch.
Key Statistics: The Pelicans were outrebounded 56-45 providing key second chance opportunities for the Cavaliers. The Pelicans also did not attempt their first free throw until the 5:25 mark of the second quarter, finishing just 7 of 10 (70%) while the Cavaliers doubled that number sinking 16 of 22 (72.7%) from the stripe. Rebounding and getting to the charity stripe are key areas of focus which the Pelicans must correct to have a legitimate chance of pulling to within .500 and possibly making the playoffs. Final Score: Cleveland Cavaliers 90 – New Orleans Pelicans 82. The Pelicans drop to 14-22 while the Cavaliers improve to 26-7 and an impressive 18-2 at home.
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Watch Buddy Hield Cleveland Cavaliers Highlights below:-
BUDDY HIELD NAILS JUMPER (Q1)
BUDDY HIELD CONNECTS FROM 3 (Q1)
BUDDY HIELD DRAINS 3 POINTER (Q3)
BUDDY HIELD SCORES ON DRIVING LAYUP (Q4)