Buddy Hield is officially the fastest shot in the East, possibly ever.
The Indiana Pacers opened Thursday’s 135-126 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers with a lightning-fast 3-pointer. In one fluid motion, Hield caught the tip from Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen on Cleveland’s side of the court, turned around and drained the shot.
From tip-off to field goal, the whole thing took about three seconds.
Per blogger Justin Russo, Hield’s shot is the first time in recorded NBA history that a player has made a 3-pointer in the first three seconds of a game. Those records extend back to the 1996-97 season.
That little piece of NBA history is a plus in what has been a solid season for Hield. The sharpshooter is currently averaging 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 41.9 percent from 3-point range.
Hield joined the Pacers last season as part of the Domantas Sabonis blockbuster deal and remains at the center of many NBA trade rumors, most notably as a target for the ailing Los Angeles Lakers. Hield holds a $21.2 million salary-cap hit this season and remains under contract next season with a $19.3 million price tag, but his 3-point shooting makes him an easy sell for just about any contender in a league where 3-point shooting and spacing his king.
The Pacers closed out Thursday’s game on a 19-5 run that spanned more than five minutes to pick up the nine-point win. Hield finished with 25 points and shot 5-of-6 from behind the arc, and Tyrese Haliburton dropped 29 points with nine assists in the win — which marked Indiana’s fourth in its last five.
Donovan Mitchell led the Cavaliers with 28 points and six assists, and Jarrett Allen added 19 points and 14 rebounds. Cleveland has now lost three straight heading into Saturday’s game in Chicago.