Kings vs Warriors Reaction & Takeaways – April 3, 2022
For the 16th-straight season, Sacramento has been eliminated from postseason play
That’s quite a way to make some history.
Not only were the Sacramento Kings eliminated from postseason contention during Sunday’s 109-90 blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors, but they also saw their postseason drought extend to 16 seasons–a new NBA record.
Even though the Warriors were without plenty of firepower in Steph Curry (foot), Klay Thompson (Achilles injury management), and Andre Iguodala, the Kings looked lost on the offensive night for most of the evening as Golden State took complete advantage.
With the loss, the Kings (29-50) see the official end to their postseason hopes as the franchise will not set its sights on the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery in May.
Sacramento is likely to end the season with the seventh-best odds in the lottery, meaning that they hold a 32-percent chance of jumping into the top four and a 7.5-percent chance of leaping to the number-one spot.
The NBA Draft Lottery will take place on Tuesday, May 17th.
That being said, with the Kings eliminated, it’s expected that both De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis will be officially shut down for the remainder of the season.
When head coach Alvin Gentry was asked about the duo’s status before Sunday’s game, Gentry stated that both players have not been ruled out for the remainder of the season. The fact that Sacramento is now eliminated could change that.
Three games remain on the regular-season schedule.
You can expect to see less of some of the veteran players like Harrison Barnes and Justin Holiday during the final games, as players like Josh Jackson, Chimezie Metu and Neemias Queta are all in line to get some extended looks.
Players like Donte DiVincenzo (restricted free agent), Trey Lyles (team option for 2022-23), and Damian Jones (unrestricted free agent) could also continue to see large quantities of playing time as general manager Monte McNair evaluates his current talent pool in preparation of the offseason.
The Bad Side Of History
When looking at the longest postseason droughts in NBA history, the Sacramento Kings stand alone.
Following Sunday’s loss, the Kings were (finally) eliminated from postseason contention for an NBA-record setting 16th-straight season.
Sacramento’s 16th-consecutive season with zero appearances in the playoffs broke a tie with the Buffalo/San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers (1976-1991).
As far as droughts go, the Kings currently find themselves in possession of the second-longest gap between playoff appearances in North American sports. Only Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners (2001-present) has gone longer without a postseason appearance.
With the Mariners on the rise and MLB implementing an expanded postseason, Sacramento could sit atop the list as the holder of the longest playoff drought in American sports once they begin the 2022-23 season this fall.
A Brief Rundown
Things got ugly for the Kings on Sunday before most fans had a chance to settle into their seats.
Not only did Sacramento get doubled up by the Warriors during the first quarter, but they also did so after scoring just 14 points (6/21 shooting from the field) over the first 12 minutes of play.
Golden State led by as many as 24 points during a first-half that was…well, miserable.
The Kings entered the halftime break trailing 62-42 as the offense struggled to find a go-to option.
As a team, Sacramento shot 31-percent from the field and three-of-16 (18%) from beyond the three-point line while Damian Jones (eight points on two-of-six shooting) was the Kings’ leading scorer after two-quarters of play.
By the time the third quarter started, this one was all but in the bag for Golden State.
Thanks to an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter, the Kings battled back to make it a seven-point game with five minutes to go, but the Warriors extinguished the run and settled things down to secure the win.
Kings of the Night
Harrison Barnes secured his fifth double-double of the season during the loss, scoring 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds over 35 minutes.
If this was Barnes’ final game of the season–and possibly his last in a Kings uniform–he went out on a high note to end an overall impressive season from the 29-year-old.
Barnes, who has one season and $18.3 million remaining on his contract, is likely to garner plenty of trade interest this summer.
Monte McNair and the Sacramento front office could also look to retain Barnes and lock in a multi-year extension, a possibility for a player that brings stability to the lineup and locker room like the veteran forward has since being acquired in 2019.
Damian Jones turned in another strong showing during the loss, scoring 17 points on five-of-ten shooting over 34 minutes.
- Alex Len (back soreness) was inactive on Sunday and is considered day-to-day.
- De’Aaron Fox (hand soreness) has not played since injuring his right hand on March 16th vs Milwaukee. Last week, Alvin Gentry told the media that Fox’s hand is still “blue around the palm” and added that the team will not rush the guard back into action this season.
- Domantas Sabonis (left knee bruise) continues to work back from a knee injury that he suffered on March 20th vs Phoenix. Sabonis suffered no structural damage to his left knee and is expected to make a full recovery. More on Sabonis here.
- Richaun Holmes will miss the remainder of the season due to personal reasons. More on Holmes here.
- Terence Davis will be re-evaluated at the end of the season after undergoing successful surgery to repair a right wrist ECU tendon injury.
One down, three to go.
Sacramento will play its final home game of the season on Tuesday night when the Play-In hopeful New Orleans Pelicans come to town.
The Kings will look to play spoiler against a Pelicans team that currently holds a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers with four games to go for both teams.
Sacramento has won two of three matchups this season, although New Orleans handed the Kings an embarrassing 125-95 loss in the most recent meeting on March 2nd.
Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Pelicans coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 3:00 pm PST on The Nick Cattles Show before a 7:00 pm PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- April 5th vs New Orleans Pelicans (Final home game of the season)
- April 9th @ Los Angeles Clippers
- April 10th @ Phoenix Suns (Final game of the season)