Preview: Kings look to end 16-season postseason drought in Portland

Mar 29, 2023, 10:44 AM | Updated: 11:20 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 23: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings appears to limp after...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Is today the day?

After four-straight days of clinch scenarios, the Sacramento Kings and its fanbase are still waiting to celebrate the franchise’s first NBA Playoff berth since 2006.

While the Kings had a chance to end the 16-season postseason drought at home on Monday night, they fell short to a Minnesota Timberwolves team that they very well could see down the road.

Sacramento (45-30) has its best opportunity to clinch yet, as they will face a Portland Trail Blazers (32-43) team that has waved the white flag, as the 13th seed in the Western Conference standings sits 4.5 games back of the 10th spot with seven games to go in the regular season.

Another chance to end the longest postseason drought in North American professional sports. Will the Kings seize the moment this time around?

YouTube video

Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers Game Info

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where: Moda Center – Portland, OR

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Pregame coverage starts at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night

Line: Kings -14, O/U: 235

How the Kings Can Clinch on Wednesday

Sacramento has had a couple of solid opportunities to clinch, but none have been as appealing as Wednesday’s possible outcomes.

If Kings fans want to celebrate the end of the postseason drought following–or during–tonight’s action at Moda Center, here’s what has to happen:

The easiest way to clinch would be defeating the Trail Blazers, as a Kings win would guarantee Sacramento a top-four seed in the West, meaning they would get a home-court advantage during the first round.

If the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Clippers, the Kings would clinch a playoff berth and a top-six spot.

If the Phoenix Suns beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento would clinch a playoff berth and a top-five spot.

While the Kings are heavily favored to beat a severely short-handed Portland team, if they were to lose on Wednesday night, there is still a solid possibility that they end the day in a playoff spot.

Clinching home-court is a top priority for Sacramento, and they can do so with a win over the Trail Blazers while also putting themselves two wins away from clinching the Pacific Division for the first time since 2002-03.

It’s possible that the Kings clinch a playoff spot during the first half of their 7:00 PM PST tip-off in Portland, as the Grizzlies-Clippers game (5:00 PM PST tip-off) will end sometime before 8:00 PM PST.

The end of the playoff chase is near, and the time to celebrate the end of the dreaded drought could be just hours away.

Get Back On Track From Deep

While the Kings did a good job of attacking the paint against Minnesota (60 points), the three-point shooting is what cost themselves a chance at clinching a playoff spot in front of a sold-out Golden 1 Center.

If it felt like an uncharacteristic performance from beyond the arc, it’s because it was.

Sacramento finished Monday’s game five-of-27 (18%) from the three-point line, which was the team’s worst showing from deep this season. In fact, it was the franchise’s worst three-point performance in over two years, as the last time the Kings made five three-point field goals or less was December 26, 2020.

The Kings will face a Blazers team that will be without its entire starting lineup and some core bench pieces. Inexperience will play a factor in Wednesday’s game, meaning that Sacramento should take advantage of a young, raw Portland team and attempt to get back on track from beyond the arc.

Players like De’Aaron Fox (1-of-6), Malik Monk (0-of-4) and Keegan Murray (1-of-6) struggled from three during Monday’s loss, but you can expect the Kings to shoot through their recent struggles and get its top-eight three-point shooting back to normal.

Keegan Watch

Outside of the Playoff clinch, there is another historic storyline to keep an eye on when the Kings take the floor on Wednesday night.

After drilling another three-pointer on Monday night, rookie forward Keegan Murray is just three made three-point field goals away from setting a new NBA rookie three-point record.

If Murray can knock down three triples against Portland, he will break All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell’s record of 187 set during the 2017-18 season.

Injury Report


  • Keon Ellis – OUT (G-League)
  • Neemias Queta – OUT (G-League)


  • Damian Lillard – OUT (right calf tightness)
  • Jerami Grant – OUT (left quad contusion)
  • Jusuf Nurkic – OUT (right knee soreness)
  • Anfernee Simons – OUT (right foot soreness)
  • Justise Winslow – OUT (left ankle sprain)
  • Ibout Badji – OUT (left knee surgery recovery)
  • Cam Reddish – DOUBTFUL (lumbar soreness)
  • Trendon Watford – DOUBTFUL (right ankle sprain)

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. Trail Blazers coverage right here on Sactown Sports 1140 beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh and Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Portland.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Wednesday, March 29th – Sacramento Kings @ Portland Trail Blazers – 7:00 PM PST

Friday, March 31st – Sacramento Kings @ Portland Trail Blazers – 7:00 PM PST

Sunday, April 2nd – Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs – 3:00 PM PST

Tuesday, April 4th – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST

Wednesday, April 5th – Sacramento Kings @ Dallas Mavericks – 5:30 PM PST

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