Bahamian trio suffer losses in the NBA
It was a rough night for the Bahamian National Basketball Association (NBA) trio on Wednesday as their respective teams were unable to get in the win column on a busy schedule in the league.
The Indiana Pacers (13-12) and shooting guard Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield were in action against the Minnesota Timberwolves (12-12) at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves won that game, 121-115. Hield finished tied with point guard Tyrese Haliburton for a team-high 26 points.
Center DeAndre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns (16-9) got bullied on their home floor when the league-best Boston Celtics (21-5) took them down, 125-98, at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Ayton scored eight points and had seven rebounds.
Kai Jones experienced 10 minutes on the floor for the Charlotte Hornets (7-18) and they fell, 122-116, to the Brooklyn Nets (14-12) on the road at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Jones made the most of his time on the floor, scoring five points and grabbing three boards.
After reaching the 1,500 made three-pointers milestone on Monday night, Hield added seven more to that tally on Wednesday night. He now has 1,507 made three-pointers in his career. The Grand Bahama native shot the ball well from the field, going 9-for-15 for a 60 percent clip and he was even more efficient from beyond the arc as he made 7-of-11 attempts from that distance, shooting 63.6 percent.
The guard caught fire in the second quarter after they went down 35-17 after the first period. The seven-year player erupted for half of his total points in the second, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from distance. Haliburton had 10 points in that period and they went into the half down 63-61. The score was even at 90 points at the end of the third quarter.
Pacers’ big man Myles Turner made back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game at 115 points with 50.5 seconds left. Four straight free throws and a dunk by Rudy Gobert sealed a 121-115 victory for the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves’ D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 28 points.
The Pacers will get a one-day rest and then head back home to take on the Washington Wizards at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. That game will tip off at 7 p.m. tonight.
Ayton and the Suns could not do anything about the Celtics who led by as much as 45 points. Ayton played just 24 minutes in this contest. All of his points and rebounds came in the first half. He finished 4-for-7 from the field and had five defensive and two offensive rebounds. At the end of the first half, the Celtics led 69-42.
It was all Celtics in the second half as they kept their foot on the gas pedal in the third quarter and cruised to the victory in the fourth.
The Suns were led by Josh Okogie who scored a career and game-high 28 points. Leading the Celtics were the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who both dropped in 25 points.
The Suns begin a four-game road stretch tonight when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans (16-8) at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m.
Jones finished the night shooting 2-for-4 from the field and connected on his only three-point attempt. He checked into the game with a minute and a half left in the first quarter. He made his presence felt as he hit a three-point shot with 18.1 seconds left in that quarter. The Nets led 36-28 at that point. The quarter ended with the Nets up by 10 points, 38-28.
At the end of the first half, the Nets led 77-53. The Hornets battled back in the third quarter, outscoring the Nets 32-23. The Nets took a 96-87 lead into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Hornets cut the lead down to one point, 113-112, with 3:23 left in the game. That was the closest they got as the Nets pulled away from them.
Terry Rozier led the Hornets with 29 points. Kyrie Irving paced the Nets with a game-high 33 points.
The Hornets host the New York Knicks (12-13) at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, tonight. That game gets underway at 7 o’ clock.