Keegan Murray close to return as Kings vs. Warriors looms

Nov 27, 2023, 1:49 PM | Updated: Nov 28, 2023, 9:24 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings looks on in the thir...

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings looks on in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden 1 Center on October 29, 2023 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

When the Sacramento Kings take the floor for Tuesday’s crucial NBA In-Season Tournament matchup against the Golden State Warriors, they will have a familiar face back in the starting lineup.

Second-year forward Keegan Murray, who has missed the past two games due to lower back soreness, was a full participant in Monday’s practice and could return as soon as Tuesday night when the Kings face the Warriors at Golden 1 Center.

Murray’s status will be updated this evening when Sacramento releases its official injury report, but the fact that he was a full participant bodes well for his chances of suiting up against Golden State.

“He looked fine today. He went through the whole practice without having to sub. He went through every drill,” Sacramento head coach Mike Brown said of Murray following Tuesday’s practice.

Brown added that while Murray made it through practice with no setbacks, the medical staff will decide whether or not the 23-year-old will suit up against the Warriors.

In recent memory, it’s good news for the Kings when injured players fully participate in a practice session the day before a game.

Expect Murray to be listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game, and a clearer picture will come together after the team evaluates the forward during morning shoot-around.

More on Kings forward Keegan Murray

While Murray’s ability to knock down looks from beyond the arc has been missed, his defensive prowess will be needed against the Golden State on Tuesday night.

Murray has taken a step forward on the defensive end this season as the forward has taken on some challenging defensive assignments during the early portion of the NBA calendar.

YouTube video

Stephen Curry, Donovan Mitchell, and Luka Doncic, to name a few, are some players that Murray has lined up against during Sacramento’s 9-6 start to the season.

At the end of last season, Murray told the media that he wanted to make strides on the defensive end to become a more complete player. Through 13 games, the second-year forward has struggled on offense (39% FG, 28% 3PT) but has improved across the board on defense:

  • 2022-23: 0.8 STL, 0.5 BLK, 117 defensive rating
  • 2023-24: 1.4 STL, 0.8 BLK, 113 defensive rating

Sacramento has weathered a stretch of injuries that has seen Murray, Keon Ellis (ankle), Sasha Vezenkov (hand), Alex Len (ankle), and Chris Duarte (hand) get banged up during a two-week, six-game road trip.

After posting a 4-2 record during the trip, the Kings have returned home for a three-game home stand that runs right into the knockout round of the NBA In-Season Tournament.

Sacramento can punch its ticket to the knockout round with a win over Golden State on Tuesday or by claiming a tie-breaker over the Warriors and Minnesota.

When is the next Sacramento Kings Game?

Did someone ask for more Kings vs. Warriors?

Sacramento will wrap up its Group Play portion of their NBA In Season Tournament schedule on Tuesday night when Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors travel to Golden 1 Center for a matchup that will air nationally on TNT.

After playing six-straight games on the road, the Kings will open up a four-game home stand–although the home stand could be interrupted by a brief trip to Las Vegas if Sacramento can defeat the Warriors and claim a spot in the Knockout Round.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Warriors coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tuesday, November 28th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors** – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, December 2nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST
  • December 3rd-10th: NBA In-Season Tournament Week (Schedule TBD)
  • Monday, December 11th – Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets – 7:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, December 12th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Clippers – 7:30 PM PST

** NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play

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