Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, left, defends against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) in the first quarter at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Mon Mar 27, 2023 (AP News photo)
By Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings were back in action at the Golden 1 Center on Monday night. It wasn’t any old game for the Kings. The Sacramento Kings had a chance to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in 16 years. Sacramento was buzzing, and the arena was packed to full capacity.
Would Monday, March 27th be the day the Kings finally snapped the longest playoff drought in the NBA? Well, the Kings must first go through the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Wolves were on a second night of a back-to-back after they beat the Warriors on Sunday night. The Kings were fresh off an off day after beating the Jazz on Saturday night. Unfortunately, the Kings lost a tough one at home, 119-115. Kings fans would need to wait another day to clinch.
In the first quarter, the Kings came out sluggish. The Kings offense was not firing in sync, and the Timberwolves took advantage of that on the offensive end. The Kings only scored 25 points in the first quarter. However, the Timberwolves scored 34 points in the first as they played a solid all-in-all first quarter. The Kings would look to fix the offense early in the second.
In the second quarter, the Kings continued to play without much energy. The usually potent Kings offense was not knocking down their normal shots as they struggled to keep up with Minnesota. However, the Kings were able to battle back and take the lead going into halftime. The Kings scored 33 points in the second quarter as they took off in the quarter’s final minutes. On the other hand, the Timberwolves scored onl6 23 points to relinquish the lead 58-57 going into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Kings reverted to their first-quarter form. The Kings did not appear to be in rhythm most of the quarter, as they could only hang in with the Timberwolves. The Kings were outscored in the third quarter 29-27. The Kings offense was a bit stagnant as the likes of Malik Monk were ice-cold. The Kings would need to awaken the offense if they hoped to win and clinch a playoff berth. The Kings leading scorer was De’Aaron Fox,, who scored 24 points through three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, The Kings could not pull it together. The Kings defense was poor as usual in the game, and the offense could not pick up the slack. The Kings dropped the last game of the homestand to the Wolves by the final of 119-115.
It was a tough loss for the Kings, who played in front of a hungry Kings fanbase ready to clinch. The Kings were outscored in the fourth quarter 33-30. The Kings were led in the defeat by De’Aaron Fox, who scored 29 points in the game. The Timberwolves were led by Jaden McDaniels, who had 20 points.
Up Next: The Kings will travel to Portland to take on the TrailBlazers on Wednesday at 7 PM PST.