SACRAMENTO KINGS

Preview: Kings look to end 16-season drought in front of packed G1C

Mar 27, 2023, 1:03 PM | Updated: 5:31 pm

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 28: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball while ...

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Is today the day?

The Sacramento Kings are one win away from ending a 16-season postseason drought, and they will look to clinch its first NBA Playoff appearance since 2006 with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

A wild atmosphere is expected at Golden 1 Center in what will be the arena’s most significant Kings game since its doors opened in 2016.

“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” forward Harrison Barnes said on Monday when asked about his expectations for the atmosphere at Golden 1 Center. “It’s going to be crazy.”

With a win, Sacramento (45-29) can clinch a first-round appearance and a top-four spot in the Western Conference standings, giving themselves a home-court advantage during the opening round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Kings can end the postseason drought in a few ways on Monday–and there’s a possibility that fans in attendance will celebrate the clinch before Sacramento’s game against the Timberwolves concludes:

Utah and Phoenix tip off at 6:00 PM PST.

Sacramento’s game against Minnesota tips off at 7:00 PM PST.

Los Angeles and Chicago top off at 7:30 PM PST.

If the Suns lose to the Jazz, a game that would typically conclude around 8:30 PM PST, a sold-out Golden 1 Center would likely go crazy while the Kings and T-Wolves finish out the third quarter.

It will be an exciting night for the Sacramento Kings franchise, and if they can take care of business against a red-hot Minnesota team, they will bring the postseason drought to a close in front of a passionate fanbase–the way that it should be.

Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Game Info

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA

TV: NBC Sports California

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

Line: Kings -5.5, O/U: 239.5

Tickets: Click Here

Keegan Closes In On History

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

After drilling six three-pointers on Saturday night, rookie forward Keegan Murray is just four made three-point field goals away from setting a new NBA rookie three-point record.

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

“If [Murray] breaks the NBA 3-point record that Donovan Mitchell–or, when he breaks it, because he’s going to break it–when he breaks it, that has to mean something to everybody out there, especially the people voting,” Kings head coach Mike Brown told the media following Saturday’s win over Utah when asked about Murray’s chances at being named to the All-Rookie first team.

“So, again, if he breaks that record and he’s not First-Team All-Rookie, especially with our team record, then all this is bulls–t, in my opinion, because he deserves it.”

Murray can bolster his chances of being named to the All-Rookie first team if he knocks down four more long balls, and he will have the opportunity to make history against a Minnesota defense that has allowed opponents to shoot 37.3 percent from deep this season (26th in the NBA).

Red-Hot March for Red Velvet

Speaking of three-point shooting, Kevin Huerter has been locked in during the month of March.

Over ten appearances this month, ‘Red Velvet’ is averaging 19.4 points per game while shooting 53 percent from the field and an incredible 51 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

After returning from a three-game absence due to a right Popliteus strain, the 24-year-old has posted 25+ points and 5+ rebounds in consecutive games for the first time in his NBA career.

Minnesota has the shot-blocking Rudy Gobert in the paint, meaning that Sacramento will likely continue to try and do the majority of its damage on the perimeter.

The Kings have attempted 44.5 three-point field goals per game over the past four contests (converted 36%), and I expect them to continue letting it fly on Monday.

Contain Ant

All-Star guard Anthony Edwards has been a thorn in Sacramento’s side this season.

Over three games, Edwards is averaging 31.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 55 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range.

Expect Kings head coach Mike Brown to throw defensive wing Kessler Edwards at Edwards in this one, as the recently-acquired 22-year-old did an admirable job of defending the T-Wolves star down the stretch of the most recent meeting between these teams on March 4th.

Edwards scored just five points during the fourth quarter of a 138-134 win over the Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mike Conley (10 points in the fourth) acted as the closer in that one, but Sacramento will have a much better chance at securing a win if they can keep Edwards in check, especially during crunch time.

Recent History

  • Minnesota has won two of the three matchups against Sacramento this season and eight of the past 11 games dating back to 2020.

Injury Report

Sacramento

  • De’Aaron Fox – QUESTIONABLE (right hamstring soreness)

During Monday morning’s shoot-around session, Fox told the media that he plans to return on Monday and will not be on a minutes restriction.

Minnesota

  • Karl Anthony-Towns – OUT (right calf strain injury management)
  • Anthony Edwards – QUESTIONABLE (right ankle sprain)
  • Jaylen Nowell – QUESTIONABLE (left knee tendinopathy)

Next Game

Sacramento will conclude its four-game home stand on Monday as they will face the Minnesota Timberwolves for the final time this regular season when the two teams meet at Golden 1 Center.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. T-Wolves 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 Sacramento.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Monday, March 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – 7:00 PM PST

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

Thank you for reading SactownSports.com. Follow us on Twitter, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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