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NBA Summer League: Buddy Hield Shines in Pelicans' Win Over Kings

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After taking the college basketball world by storm this past season, Pelicans guard Buddy Hield has moved onto the NBA, and his professional career got its lift off at the Las Vegas Summer League this past weekend. New Orleans dropped its first two games against the Lakers and Jazz, but Hield led the Pelicans to a 70-66 win over the Kings on Monday night. 

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Hield scored 23 points in the victory on 10-of-23 shooting, but highlighting his night was the Bahamian's third quarter performance. The flashy guard dazzled the crowd inside of Cox Pavilion Arena, and drained 17 points in the third frame alone as he slipped into a rhythm that many Sooner fans were accustomed to seeing over his college career at Oklahoma. 

Hield finished the game strong, but after struggling in the first half, the rookie credits his new coach Alvin Gentry for helping him turn it around. 

"I just get fed up with losing,'' Hield said. ''Coach said if I don't make a shot, he's going to shoot me. So I was more locked in and focused. I know it's not me to be out there missing too many shots. But it's the growing pains that I have to go through."

Gentry wasn't coaching the Summer League team -- that duty was left for former OKC Thunder and current Pelicans' assistant Robert Pack -- but Gentry did sit courtside to see his most recent lottery pick in action. 

"Coach is there to help and guide the way,'' Hield said. ''He said they're not mad at me when I'm making bad plays. I just tried to make plays for my teammates and have fun.''    

Along with torching the Sacramento defense with his scoring ability, Hield added seven rebounds and five assists to pad his stat-line and prove he's capable of being an all-around player. 

Hield's impressive performance came in front of his former teammate and roommate at OU, Isaiah Cousins, who was drafted in the second round by the Kings and was on the bench last night. Cousins was unable to play in the game due to a strained groin. 

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