NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Sacramento 19 31 33 37 120
Portland 20 26 18 16 80
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0022:00 ET8:00 PM CTNaN:� , March 29, 2023
Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon  Attendance: 18,550

Out to end playoff drought, Kings visit Blazers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers

  1. Sacramento has lost 14 of their last 16 games in Portland, including a 103-88 loss in its last visit last season. The Kings are 19-90 (.174) all-time on the road against the Blazers, the worst road record against a single opponent in NBA history (min. 75 games).
  2. The Kings have scored fewer than 50 points in the paint in each of their last five road games, their longest run of such games this season. The last time Sacramento had a longer such stretch was a six-game streak in October-November 2019.
  3. Domantas Sabonis had 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting and 10 rebounds in Monday's loss to Minnesota. Sabonis has had 10+ field goals made on 75.0 percent shooting and 10+ rebounds in six games this season, tied for the most by any player (also Nikola Jokic).
  4. Portland lost by a season-high 34 points on Monday against New Orleans, scoring just 14 points in the first quarter. Portland has scored fewer than 15 points in the first quarter of three games this season, the most of any NBA team.
  5. Shaedon Sharpe has shot 50.0 percent or better on threes in three of his last five games. Sharpe has made at least half his three-pointers on three or more attempts in 17 games this season, with only Keegan Murray (24) having more such games among rookies in 2022-23
  6. Sacramento has allowed 10 or fewer second-chance points in three of its last four road games. The Kings have allowed just 7.9 second-chance points per game on the road since the All-Star break, the best mark for any team in that time.
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Sacramento Kings came up empty in their initial attempt to clinch their first playoff berth since 2006.

The Kings will take another shot to end the longest postseason drought in professional sports when they visit the downtrodden Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Sacramento (45-30) is on the cusp of ending that ugly 16-season drought but was unable to seal the deal Monday night when it fell 119-115 to the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Yeah, I mean guys wanted to clinch a playoff spot at home and wanted to share it with our fans," All-Star point guard De'Aaron Fox said after the setback. "But at the end of the day, regardless of where we do it at, I think people are going to appreciate it and people are going to love it."

Clinching against Portland (32-43) feels like a formality as this is the first of back-to-back games versus the Trail Blazers.

There's also the fact that Portland has dropped nine of its past 10 games and will be without star guard Damian Lillard (calf), who was shut down for the season, according to a report by Bleacher Report.

Lillard averaged 32.2 points, 7.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 58 games this season.

Kings forward Harrison Barnes would have liked to see the home fans celebrate the milestone, but he sees the bigger picture too.

"It's just changing the mindset of not just trying to clinch and then the season's over," Barnes said. "For us, it's continuing to just get better every single game. We have aspirations of a good postseason. So for us, it's focusing on that and just keeping it one game at a time.

"Like I said, (Monday) was a missed opportunity, but you know, we have another game in a couple of days and (we're) just focusing and preparing for that."

Fox scored 29 points against Minnesota and fellow All-Star Domantas Sabonis added 24 points and 10 rebounds. However, the Kings were just 5 of 27 from 3-point range and had only 16 assists to the Timberwolves' 33.

Keegan Murray was 1 of 6 from 3-point range but tied Lillard (185) for the second-most 3-pointers by a rookie in NBA history. Donovan Mitchell holds the record of 187, set in 2017-18 when he was a member of the Utah Jazz.

While the Kings, who are in third place in the Western Conference, are looking forward to the postseason, Portland is playing out the remainder of a second straight disappointing season.

The Trail Blazers were on the outside of the play-in tournament race even before they recently bottomed out.

But they weren't even competitive in Monday's 124-90 home loss against the New Orleans Pelicans when Lillard and fellow starters Jerami Grant (quadriceps), Jusuf Nurkic (knee) and Anfernee Simons (foot) all sat out.

Portland trailed 30-12 before the contest was 10 minutes old and was down 58-35 at halftime. The deficit eventually grew to 36.

"I wasn't concerned about the effort. I thought we played hard," Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. "... That's a team that's on a mission. They're playing very well, and they just kicked our butt."

Rookie Shaedon Sharpe fell back to earth against New Orleans after putting together the top three games of his career -- including 29 points in Sunday's 118-112 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder.

Sharpe averaged 25.7 points during the stretch but had two points through three quarters against the Pelicans before scoring 10 in garbage time. His 12 points came on 5-of-13 shooting.

Nassir Little, who scored a season-high 28 points against Oklahoma City, had just seven on 3-of-10 shooting.

Keon Johnson matched his career high of 20 points to lead the depleted Trail Blazers against the Pelicans.

"Most of these guys that are out there right now, they weren't planning on being out there this time of year," Billups said. "So they're grateful and thankful for the opportunity. And I feel like they're doing a pretty good job with it."

The Kings and Trail Blazers split two meetings earlier this season.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 29, 2023

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