NBA: Sacramento Kings end playoff drought

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 30 2023 01:45 PM

The Sacramento Kings ended their record-breaking 17-year NBA playoff drought on Wednesday.

Sacramento, who had not advanced to the playoffs since the 2005-2006 season -- the longest streak of futility in NBA history -- clinched their postseason berth with a 120-80 rout of the Trail Blazers in Portland.

Malik Monk led the Kings' scoring with 19 points while four other players made double digits, including rookie Keegan Murray, whose 13 points included his 188th three-pointer of the season -- a new NBA record for a rookie.

Murray expressed satisfaction that the Kings have finally ended their long wait for a playoff berth, 12 months after finishing 12th in the Western Conference with a 30-52 record.

"We've had really good teams throughout that 17 years and I think this one exemplifies all of them," Murray told ESPN. "It's really cool to be on this team but we know we have a lot more to do."

The Kings sit in third place in the West on 46-30, trailing Denver and Memphis.

In Phoenix, Kevin Durant returned from injury to help the Suns claim a 107-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Durant finished with 16 points in what was his long-awaited home debut in Phoenix, while Devin Booker led the Suns scorers with 29 points.

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