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Sacramento Kings Snap 16-Year Playoff Drought

Light. The. Beam.

For the first time since 2006, the Sacramento Kings have clinched a spot in the NBA Playoffs, ending the longest postseason drought of any major U.S. professional sports team.

The berth came after a 120-80 win over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night (March 29) in Portland. They had a chance to clinch at home on Monday, but the Timberwolves played spoiler in their 119-115 win and made the Kings wait just a little bit longer. It was fitting that the berth came away from home, as Sacramento leads the Western Conference with a 23-14 road record.

The Kings came into the season with low expectations, frequently chosen near the bottom of preseason power rankings and not likely to end the drought. Yet, they hired former NBA champion Mike Brown as head coach and sent a purple beacon to the heavens every time they won, reigniting the starving fan base and winning the most games since the 2004-05 season.

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1641292152205459458?s=20

Since the last time the Kings made the playoffs, they have not had a winning season and went through eight head coaches, a stark contrast from the eight straight years they made the playoffs from 1999 to 2006 that also included a conference finals appearance. They started this season 0-4, and many thought this would be the same old Kings team we are used to. However, they went into the new year at 19-15 and currently sit 46-30, good enough for third in the conference.

As is the case with any team, the players are the main reason for the Kings’ newfound success. Veteran King De’Aaron Fox and last season’s trade deadline acquisition, Domantas Sabonis, offer a great one-two punch, with the former leading the team at 25.2 points per game and the latter averaging a points-rebounds double-double while also leading the team in assists. Forward Harrison Barnes has also continued to play to form, averaging 15 points per game on 47% shooting.

The Kings also had a handful of new faces this season that led them to their winning ways. First-round pick Keegan Murray has already blossomed, averaging 11.9 points per game and setting the NBA record for three-pointers made by a rookie in Wednesday’s win. They also acquired guards Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter, who score 13.5 and 15.4 points a game, respectively.

With the Kings’ drought over, the New York Jets now own the longest postseason drought among the four major North American sports at 12 years.

Let us know what you think of the Kings making the playoffs by leaving a reaction at the bottom of this post or by tweeting us @celebsecrets.

Author

  • Mason Klemm

    Mason Klemm is a sports news and culture writer. He is a junior at Bradley University studying sports communication, so he obviously loves all things sports. When his eyes aren't glued to ESPN or Twitter, he enjoys watching TV and movies. Originally from Minneapolis, he is a self-proclaimed geography nerd and loves the Eagles and Twins.

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Mason Klemm is a sports news and culture writer. He is a junior at Bradley University studying sports communication, so he obviously loves all things sports. When his eyes aren't glued to ESPN or Twitter, he enjoys watching TV and movies. Originally…

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