Buddy Hield isn’t shy about letting it fly from outside. If his current pace holds or increases, he’ll find himself in the franchise record books.
The third-year shooting guard has hit 134 3-pointers as the Kings (20-21) have reached the halfway point of the regular season. He’s on pace for 268 makes from outside the arc, which would comfortably surpass the franchise single-season record.
The current mark is 240, set in 2003-04 by Peja Stojakovic, who is now one of the team’s assistant general managers.
Hield is averaging 7.3 3-point attempts per game this season, but his efficiency is also up. He’s made a career-best 44.5 percent of those shots, which is seventh in the NBA.
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Kings coach Dave Joerger said the team’s increased pace has helped Hield thrive from outside.
“I think playing faster has opened up some shots in transition,” Joerger said. “We’re playing with more possessions per game than we have in the past, so there’s more opportunities for him.”
Hield, who has started all season, only has three games in which he didn’t make at least one 3-pointer. He set a career-high for a single game when he made eight in a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
He’s the team’s leading scorer at 20.2 points per game and has also improved his rebounding and assist numbers, averaging 5.0 and 2.3, respectively.
Despite the improved numbers, he’s not satisfied.
“I always think there’s more I can do,” Hield said after the Warriors game. “I want to be perfect, but you can’t be perfect. That’s how hard I work and that’s how much pressure I put on myself to be the best I can be.”
He knows he has the team’s blessing to keep shooting.
“They trust me to make plays and score the basketball. It’s my job.”
Stojakovic’s 240 3s came over 81 games. He was suspended for the Christmas Day game against the Dallas Mavericks. He made 43.3 percent of his attempts during that campaign, his highest rate over seven-plus seasons with Sacramento.
The NBA record for most 3s by one player in a season is 402, set by the Warriors’ Stephen Curry in 2015-16.