After 17 years of waiting Kings clinch first winning season with win over Nets 101-96

Brooklyn Nets’ Edmond Sumner (4) passes the ball away from Sacramento Kings’ Domantas Sabonis (10) during the second half at Barclay Center on Thu Mar 16, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Jessica Kwong

BROOKLYN, NY. — The Sacramento Kings (42-27) clinched their first winning season in 17 years with a 101-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets (39-31) at Barclays Center on Thursday night.

It was the first time that the Kings have finished above .500 since the 2005-06 season when they earned a 44-38 record. 

Despite the milestone, Kings head coach Mike Brown said he doesn’t equate March 16 with 42 wins and making the playoffs. The Kings are focused on “trying to get as many wins as possible,” he said. 

The game was tied at 41 with less than 3 1/2 minutes to go in the first quarter. Domantas Sabonis made a triple that set off a 13-0 run for Sacramento. Domantas scored 24 points, including nearly 20 by halftime. 

Sacramento led by as many as 17 points, and the Nets made a comeback effort in the second half that came close but fell short. De’Aaron Fox had 18 points. Kessler Edwards contributed 10 points.

“We were trying to get a win like that all year,” said Brown.

The Kings made the playoffs eight straight times under then-head coach Rick Adelman, the last being in the 2005-06 season, but had a losing record all the other years since moving to Sacramento.  

“I think being here for over four years now, and seeing the bottom – the very bottom – and to see the frustration of fans and the people in the organization, I think it’s nice to be on the other side it,” said Kings forward Harrison Barnes. “A lot of people, they don’t get a chance to stay in an organization long enough to see the good times and the bad, they just see the bad side. So I consider myself fortunate to be able to be part of this moment.”

The Kings (42-27) are second in the western conference. They continue their road trip on Saturday against the Washington Wizards. Tipoff is at 5 p.m.

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