Playoff bound: Sacramento Kings clinch long-awaited postseason berth

Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) smiles as the second half begins in an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, March 27, 2023. The Timberwolves won 119-115. (AP Photo/José Luis Villegas)

(KTXL) — There will be playoff basketball in Sacramento.

For the first time in 17 years, the Sacramento Kings will compete in the NBA playoffs, breaking the longest playoff drought in NBA history. 

The Kings clinched a playoff berth Wednesday night with a 120-80 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on the road.

Before the 2022-23 season, the Kings also had the longest playoff drought in major professional sports in North America. 

The first round of the NBA playoffs begins April 15, after the play-in tournament concludes. The Kings currently third in the Western Conference standings at 46-30.

If the Kings finish with the No. 3 seed, they will play whoever finishes in sixth place in the Western Conference.

If the Kings finish with the No. 2 seed, their playoff matchup will be decided after the play-in tournament, as they’ll match up with whoever wins the No. 7 vs. No. 8 game. 

The last Kings playoff game in Sacramento

The Kings’ last playoff game was on May 5, 2006, at Arco Arena, where Sacramento was eliminated in the first round by San Antonio Spurs. 

The Kings were the eighth seed of the Western Conference while the Spurs were the top team in the West. The Spurs won the series 4-2. 

Sacramento fell to San Antonio 105-83 in Game 6 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, ending an eight-season streak of playoff appearances for the Kings.

According to RealGM, the Kings starters in that game were Mike Bibby, Bonzi Wells, Ron Artest (now known as Metta Sandiford-Artest), Kenny Thomas and Brad Miller.