Philadelphia 76ers' Buddy Hield logs 86 games before playoffs

Kelly Oubre Jr. puts 76ers ahead with an and-1 late (0:28)

Kelly Oubre comes up with a huge and-1 in the final minute to give the 76ers the lead. (0:28)

Editor's note: This story was originally published on April 17. Hield scored 17 points with five 3-pointers in the first half of Thursday's Game 6.

In his eighth NBA season, Buddy Hield has finally reached the NBA playoffs. It only took an 86-game campaign to get there.

Hield played more than the normal 82 games this season because of his acquisition during the trade deadline week by the Philadelphia 76ers, who landed him from the Indiana Pacers for Marcus Morris Sr., Furkan Korkmaz and second-round picks.

And, as it turned out, Philadelphia's post-trade schedule included two more games than Indiana's.

Hield was officially credited with playing 84 games, tied for the 11th most in NBA history and the most in nearly 20 years.

But that tally didn't count reaching the in-season tournament title game in December as a member of the Pacers, as the league determined before the season that contest wouldn't count in the standings. The NBA has also determined the play-in games don't count as either regular or postseason games.

But Hield played in both, including going for seven points and six assists in Wednesday's win over the visiting Miami Heat to set up Philadelphia's first-round showdown with the No. 2-seeded New York Knicks. Add those to his total and Hield joins Gar Heard and McCoy McLemore with 86 games played, only behind Tom Henderson (87) and Walt Bellamy (88) in NBA history.

"I haven't imagined it," Hield told ESPN, when asked if he ever considered playing that many games in a season.

"I love playing. The guys around here love playing. Everybody on the team, they're gonna say, 'Buddy, you going?' And I say, 'Yeah, I'm going.'

Hield's durability is nothing new. Across his eight NBA seasons, Hield has played 632 out of a possible 638 NBA games, easily the most in the league during that span. Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, at 604, is second.

And, for Hield, Game 86 this season also means he will get at least four more in the first postseason series of his career.

"I'm excited to just finally get a crack at it and be able to keep playing with these guys," Hield said.

"And, even though we're the 7-seed, I think it's fair to say we can compete for a championship.

"So I'm ready, and let the chips fall where they may."

When asked what motivates him to take the court on a nightly basis, Hield said it's about playing for the people in his native Bahamas and for any fans who buy tickets to watch him play.

"All the little kids," Hield said, "[who] spend their money, come watch my game and get a chance to see me play. So I will fight it out."