Bahamian Chavano “Buddy” Hield fell just one point short of winning what would have been his second NBA (National Basketball Association) All-Star Three-Point Contest at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday night.
The Indiana Pacers starting two-guard finished the final round of the Starry Three-Point Contest with 25 points. He was edged by Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard who finished with 26 points. Hield’s teammate and fellow backcourt partner Tyrese Haliburton was third, finishing with 17 points.
Lillard was the second competitor and chased Hield’s 25 points down. He needed his last shot – a money ball that is worth two points to pass Hield, and he got it. Lillard made both of his shots from the “Starry” spot on the court that was worth three points while Hield missed both of those shots. That proved to be a key component in the victory.
In the final round, the Grand Bahama native got off to a hot start on the first rack, coming away with five points. As mentioned, he missed both “Starry” shots and had 13 points after the second one. He put in four of five money ball shots on his last rack which was in the corner. It was a great strategy as he had just 17 points before reaching it. He hit the first four shots in the corner but his final money ball shot clanked on the back of the rim and missed as he finished with 25 points.
Hield was going for his second three-point title after participating in the 2020 NBA All-Star edition.
The Bahamian finished the first round with 23 points to advance to be one of the three finalists.
Haliburton had the most points with 31. Lillard scored 26 points in the first round.
Eliminated in the first round were the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, the Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen, the Miami Heat’s Tyler Herro, the New York Knicks’ Julius Randle and the Sacramento Kings’ Kevin Huerter.
Hield has made 230 made three-point shots this season and leads the league at the all-star break. His closest competitor is Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons who has 196 and he is followed by Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson with 194.
Hield is averaging 3.8 made three-pointers per game and is on pace to eclipse his own single-season record in made three-pointers which is 282. If he continues making three-pointers at a high clip, he will likely go over the 300-made three-pointers mark. If he does that, he will join only two other players in NBA history – the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden. Curry did it four times and Harden did it once.
Before the break, Hield was able to set a franchise record for made three-pointers in a season. He did that last Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls. He surpassed Pacers legend Reggie Miller who had 229 made three-point shots during the 1996-1997 season.
The Pacers (26-34) return to action on Thursday, taking on the Eastern Conference and NBA leading Celtics (42-17) at home, at Gainbridge Fiedhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.