Hield wins first match against Ayton

Hield wins first match against Ayton
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) has his shot blocked by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, left, during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Buddy Hield and the Sacramento Kings took the first game of the season against Deandre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

Hield had 20 points in 18 minutes in a 122-105 win. Ayton had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Suns.

Following the game, both Hield and Ayton spoke about the matchup and what it means in the long term for Bahamian basketball.

“This was great for Bahamas basketball, especially seeing how much the sport is growing in the country,” Hield said. “You have to put in a lot of time on the court and in the classroom to get here. I know being on the island is tough, but nothing worth having is going to come easy.

You have to get out and work on your game every day. And even if you are not a basketball player, you still have to work hard in order to make it any field.”

Ayton added: “Growing up, me and Buddy used to be kids in camp saying we wanted to be like a particular player. Hard work pays off and kids have to know it is not easy. Playing at the top level takes a lot of discipline.”

The Kings improved to 12-11 on the season. Sacramento outscored Phoenix 36-9 in the opening quarter and maintained the lead the remainder of the game.