Buddy Hield Shines in Season Opener

buddy hield sacramento kings vs houston rockets 10-18-2017

Golden 1 Center came alive last night on opening night of the 2017-2018 NBA Season as Buddy Hield shines in season opener for the Sacramento Kings.  However, the season wouldn’t start off so great for the team’s rookies as the veterans pulled a classic pre-game prank on them allowing them to run onto the court alone while purposefully staying behind.  It was all in good fun and most likely coordinated by the team’s official veteran Vince Carter who welcomed fans with a brief message from half-court followed  by an emphatic lineup introduction and halftime performance by Grammy award winning artist Lil Jon.  The Sacramento Kings became the first NBA team to participate in a Facebook Live fundraiser at halftime as Lil Jon performed to raise funds for hurricane victims and wildfire relief efforts.


After a huge trade from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Sacramento Kings, Buddy Hield was eager to put in work.  This would be his first full off season with the team and the system of Head Coach Dave Joerger.  Hield has undoubtedly been in a shooting slump for most of the preseason but this game would be different who after a few early struggles, sank a fade away jump shot with just under 6 minutes left in the first quarter.  He would have a relatively quiet first half and and would be unable to take advantage of several open looks at the basket.  He would come to life in the third quarter where Hield showed to the Sacramento faithful his scoring ability as he scored 10 points straight on 4 consecutive baskets.

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This season provided a different tempo for the Kings with young talented players and quality veterans to help them along the way.  Kings fans showed their anticipation early in the season for the Kentucky standout De’aaron Fox and he did not disappoint.  He checked into the game and immediately contributed scoring four points in the first quarter but impressed even more with his breakaway speed and ability to close at the basket.  The Kings would lead the Rockets after one quarter 26-25 and would trail by just four points at halftime.  By the second quarter, the Sacramento Kings’ bench had already scored 17 points compared to just 7 points for the Rockets.  The Kings’ second unit would be led by Fox who finished with 14 points despite being without the services of newly acquired Zach Randolph as well as Bogdan Bogdanovic and Harry Giles.  On the night, Buddy Hield would finish as the Kings’ second leading scorer behind Willie Cauley-Stein with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.

This game would ultimately be decided in the final seconds after a controversial instant replay ruling by the referees which determined that George Hill had fouled Eric Gordon on a critical turnover with just 25.1 seconds remaining and the Rockets holding on to a 3 point lead.  Gordon would sink both free throws and seal a 105-100 victory for Houston.  James Harden lead all players with 27 points and nine assists as the Rockets were successful in spoiling the home team’s opener for both the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors.

Key Statistics:  The Kings’ bench outscored the Rockets 27-19 led by 14 points from De’aaron Fox.  In this game, the Kings committed 17 turnovers which resulted in 19 points off turnovers.  Houston out rebounded the Kings 51-49.  Sacramento shot 42 of 88 (47.7%) from the field and 8 of 23 (34.8%) from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Rockets shot just 33 of 83 (39.8%) from the field and attempted 45 shots from downtown, connecting on just 12 of 45 (26.7%) from distance.  Up next, the Kings start a 3-game road trip at Dallas on Friday night at 8:30pm EST.  Be sure to check out the video clip below and share these Buddy Hield Highlights to fellow Buddy Hield Fans in your social network!

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