Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis, right, drives to the basket on Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little, left, during the first half in Portland on Wed Mar 29, 2023 (AP News photo)
Kings Secure Playoff Spot With Win Over Portland 120-80
By Barbara Mason
Wednesday night the Sacramento Kings (46-30) traveled to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers (32-44). The Kings ended the NBA’s longest playoff drought with a 120-80 win over the Trail Blazers. The win tonight in Portland locked down a spot in the post-season.
It was a slow start for the Kings trailing after the first quarter had come to an end 20-19. Sacramento was having a lot of trouble hitting shots from downtown. After two quarters the King were five of 24 from the perimeter. They were shooting at 20.8% on three pointers.
It took the first quarter for the Kings to heat up. With under four minutes left in the first half, the Kings had a 44-32 lead and finally had this game on cruise control; or did they? This was the largest lead for the Kings in the game but Portland refused to go away. The Trail Blazers closed out the first half with a 14-6 run and just like that had pulled to within four points 50-46.
After two quarters Domantas Sabonis was on the verge of another double double with ten rebounds and nine points. De’Aaron Fox had a slow first half with four points.
The third quarter began with a Keegan Murray triple putting him just one three away from the all- time NBA rookie 3-point record. Four minutes into the quarter the Kings had established a 62-51 lead. At 6:40 Murray made history with his third three in this game making him the all-time NBA rookie leader from beyond the arc.
With 4:45 left in the quarter the Kings had a 73-60 advantage. After three quarters the Kings had a 83-64 lead. Fox had heated up and had 12 points through three and the Kings were a quarter away from securing a playoff spot.
Forth quarter clutch player Fox started the quarter with a couple of triples to extend their lead to 99-65. The second half Kings had arrived. The three’s were falling for Sacramento already clocking 14 with 8:41 left in the game. They would finish with 18 triples and win by a whopping 40 points.
Malik Monk had the game high with 19 points off the bench. Fox had 18 points. The 17 year drought had come to an end with this decisive win.
Friday night the Kings will remain in Portland for another game with the Trail Blazers. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.