Kings end regular season with win, set for NBA Play-In vs. Warriors

Apr 14, 2024, 3:07 PM | Updated: 3:35 pm

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 18: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball in the...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks for the Sacramento Kings, but the ‘Beam Team’ put the finishing touches on the 2023-24 regular season in style.

Sacramento snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating the lowly Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday afternoon before a sold-out Golden 1 Center as the organization came through with a much-needed 121-82 blowout win on ‘Sixth Man Celebration’ day.

The Kings (46-36) finished the season ten games over .500 for the second consecutive season, the first time Sacramento has posted back-to-back such records since the 2003-04 and 2004-05 campaigns.

With the NBA Play-In Tournament now set, the ninth-seed Kings will prepare for a single-elimination NBA Play-In Tournament matchup against the Golden State Warriors.

Sacramento vs. Golden State is set to take place on Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center.

Kings vs. Blazers Recap & Takeaways

Let-downs against sub-500 opponents have been a trend for Sacramento this season–but not on Sunday.

Facing a Portland team that has its eyes set on another top-five pick in June’s NBA Draft, the Kings pounced early as De’Aaron Fox (eight points) and Domantas Sabonis (six points, four rebounds, and five assists) led a Sacramento offense that went 11-for-19 (58%) from the floor in the first period.

A short-handed Blazers team that was without 11 members of its rotation relied on the three-ball during the first quarter—although the results were unideal. Portland missed 20 of its first 21 attempts from beyond the arc, and the Kings took advantage by pushing their lead over the 20-point mark early in the second period.

Behind Fox’s 17 points (seven-of-ten shooting), four Sacramento starters finished the first half in double figures en route to taking a 65-37 lead into the break.

Over the first 24 minutes of regulation, the Blazers went two-for-27 (7%) from three-point range, while the Kings scored 17 points off of ten Portland turnovers.

Fox and the starting unit continued to attack a depleted Blazers defense in the second half, and the lead crossed over the 30 and 40-point marks before the conclusion of the third period.

All five Kings starters finished in double figures, with Fox’s 24 points (10/14 FG) leading the way. Domantas Sabonis (18 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists), Harrison Barnes (17 points), Keon Ellis (13 points), and Keegan Murray (12 points) also completed the regular season on a high note.

Head coach Mike Brown emptied the bench for the fourth quarter, allowing players like Colby Jones, Kessler Edwards, Sasha Vezenkov, Mason Jones, and JaVale McGee to get some run during the game’s final minutes.

McGee, who hasn’t logged more than six minutes in a single game since January 29th, checked in to a loud ovation before immediately scoring on his first touch.

The veteran center scored nine points, grabbed seven rebounds, and passed out two steals over eight minutes of action.

Fans in attendance were treated to a stress-free win as Sacramento put the regular season in the rear-view and set their sights on a win-or-go-home Play-In game against a familiar foe: Golden State.

“We welcome anybody that’s in front of us,” Brown said of the rematch against the Warriors. “We’re just excited about an opportunity to play. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

The NBA Play-In Tournament Is Set

Are you ready for some postseason basketball?

The Kings will get a chance at redemption against the Golden State Warriors at Golden 1 Center on Tuesday night, with the loser going home and winner facing the loser of the seventh-seed vs. eighth seed game.

Here is the full NBA Play-In Tournament bracket:

Notes & Stats

  • With three first-quarter steals tonight vs. Portland, De’Aaron Fox has 150 steals this season as he passed Metta Sandiford-Artest (2006-07: 149) for the seventh-most steals in a single season in franchise history.

  • Domantas Sabonis posted his 77th double-double this season tonight vs. Portland, tied for the most in a single season with Moses Malone (1978-79: 77) since the ABA-NBA merger. Sabonis ended the season as the league leader in double-doubles and triple-doubles (26, tied with Nikola Jokic).

  • Davion Mitchell finished the season with a career-best 36 percent conversion rate from three-point range.
  • Domantas Sabonis secured his second-straight rebounding title on Sunday, finishing the season with 1,120 rebounds (13.6 per game).
  • De’Aaron Fox secured the NBA steals title, leading the league with 150 steals (2.02 per game). Fox became the second player in the Sacramento era (1985-present) to swipe 150 or more steals in a single season (Doug Christie, 4x).

Injury Updates

Malik Monk (right knee) will be re-evaluated in three weeks after suffering a right knee MCL sprain.

Kevin Huerter (left dislocated shoulder and labral tear) will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery and is slated to be ready for the start of the 2024-25 season.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

The stage is set for a Kings vs. Warriors rematch.

Sacramento will get a chance at redemption on Tuesday night when it faces Golden State in another win-or-go-home showdown. The ninth-seed Kings will look to send the tenth-seed Warriors home when the two teams meet at Golden 1 Center.

Not even one year ago, Stephen Curry’s 50-point performance eliminated Sacramento in Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs’ opening round, which also took place on the Kings’ home floor.

Sacramento and Golden State split the regular season series 2-2 this season, with both teams winning one game at home and on the road.

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 Golden 1 Center.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tuesday, April 16thNBA Play-In (9th seed vs. 10th seed): Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM

NBA Postseason Schedule

  • Tuesday, April 16th-Friday, April 19th – NBA Play-In Tournament (Teams & matchups TBD)
  • Saturday, April 20th – NBA Playoffs begin

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