THE 600 CLUB: Buddy Hield sets new 3-point record

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

Buddy Hield has now made more three-point field goals than any other player in National Basketball Association history through their first three seasons in the league.

The Sacramento Kings guard claimed the record on Wednesday night in the regular season finale against the Portland Trailblazers at the Moda Center.

Hield drained a three from the wing at the 9:21 mark in the first quarter to give him 600 career makes and surpass the previous record Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard set in 2015.

Hield added two more threes on the night to establish the new record and bring his career total to 602.

His season total of 278 three-pointers ranks No 7 all-time for a single season and moved him ahead of Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors with 276 in 2016.

Lillard said he’s been following Hield’s game since his collegiate days.

“I watched him a lot at Oklahoma because he had a buzz around the country,” Lillard said. “When he got drafted by New Orleans, the opportunity wasn’t great for him. Once he got to Sac, you can tell he lit up with the opportunity and he’s taking advantage of it.”

In his third season, Hield averaged 20.7 points on 46 percent from the floor, 43 percent shooting from three-point range and 88 percent shooting from the free throw line. He also averaged 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists in just over 32 minutes per game.

Hield also set the Kings’ single-season three-point field goals record this season when he surpassed Peja Stojakovic’s mark of 240.

He had 324 three-point makes through his first two seasons, but with the Kings new and improved high paced offense, the third year guard has experienced an increase in attempts while shooting the same high percentage as in previous seasons.

“I’m blessed, man,” Hield said to NBC Sports in the week leading up as he closed in on the record “I’m in this situation. Thank God for putting me here, you know, a kid from The Bahamas. I never thought in a million years that I’d be doing this.”

During his season of milestones, Hield also made his debut in the MTN Dew Three Point Shootout at NBA All-Star Weekend.

Hield

reached the championship round but finished third behind second-place finisher, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and eventual champion, Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets.

He

scored 26 points in the first round and posted 19 points in the championship round.

Hield

finished the 2017-18 season as the Kings second-leading scorer averaging 13.5 points (45 percent field goal shooting, .431 three-point shooting, and 88 percent from the free throw line), 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.06 steals in 25.3 minutes per game. He started

just 13 of his 80 appearances.

After an offseason, he called “one

of the best summers of my entire life” Hield had tremendous improvement headed into this season.

Over the summer,

Hield was back in Grand Bahama to host the fourth edition of his Summer Basketball Camp. He also participated with the senior men’s national team in the third window of FIBA Americas World Cup qualification in Puerto Rico. Hield scored 19 points and

the Bahamas escaped with an 83-82 win over the Dominican Republic to close out the third window for the team’s only win of the round.

“It all

started off starting the season strong and embracing my role. I know what I’m capable of doing and I just had to take advantage of it. My mom always said when you get an opportunity to take advantage of it because they don’t come around too often. When you

get the confidence you just keep going and I’m a guy that drives off confidence,” Hield said, “There may have been a time I wasn’t getting the minutes I wanted, but I knew I was one of the best shooters in the league. I worked for it, I showed them I can

do it.”