The Sacramento Kings will miss the NBA playoffs for the 16th consecutive season after being eliminated from contention Sunday night.
Sacramento’s 16-year drought without a postseason berth became official after a 109-90 loss. To the Golden State Warriors at the Golden 1 Center Sunday. Following the San Antonio Spurs’ win over the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the day.
Before the 2021-22 NBA season, the Kings shared the league’s longest postseason drought with the Los Angeles Clippers (1976-77 to 1990-91). They’re now on their own after a loss on Sunday that cut their record to 29-50.
Despite an exciting finale to their five-game road trip just two days previously. The Sacramento Kings are still unable to play spoiler to the Warriors’ playoff seeding chances at home on Sunday.
Sacramento avoided elimination by going 4-1 on the road trip. It Defeated the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic, losing to the Miami Heat. Also, finishing strong with back-to-back victories over the Houston Rockets. Each of the Kings’ four road victories has scored by five points or less.
The Kings were two and a half games behind the Lakers for the last Western Conference play-in place and three and a half games behind the Spurs. After being formally eliminate from playoff contention with their loss to the Warriors. The Kings must now focus on the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery, where they currently control the No. 7 seed.
When the Kings have rated No. 6 earlier this week, NBC News Political Correspondent Steve Kornacki estimated that they had a 37.2 percent chance of earning a top-four pick via the lottery. A 9% chance, or one in 11 possibilities of obtaining the No. 1 overall pick.
“I’ve been here for the previous two years, and I can tell you that things are going in the right direction in my perspective,” interim Kings coach Alvin Gentry said. “You have to be good, but you also have to be lucky in terms of some of the injuries that have damaged us.”
While the team’s winning streak over the last six games has been motivating, Sacramento’s prospects of obtaining a top draft pick have now dropped several points. And their hopes of competing for a playoff place have been crushed by Sunday’s setback.
An extended postseason structure that used a play-in round for teams, finishing seventh through tenth in each conference. The Kings had every chance to make a run in a watered-down Western Conference.
Due to injuries and injury management, the Warriors were without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr., and James Wiseman. De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Richaun Holmes, and Alex Len were all out for the Kings.
Due to right-hand pain, Fox has missed the last eight games. Sabonis has been out of the lineup for six games due to a left knee contusion. “I’m sure it’s something we’ll speak about,” Gentry said when asked if the Kings will shut down Fox and Sabonis for the rest of the season now that they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs.