When Kings could clinch first playoff berth in 16 years

Share

In case you haven't heard, the Kings are closing in on their first playoff berth in 16 years.

It's just a matter of days before the purple victory beam atop Golden 1 Center will indicate a trip to the postseason bracket.

Entering Thursday's slate of games, Sacramento's magic number stands at three. That means any combination of three Kings wins and/or losses by the seventh-place Minnesota Timberwolves would clinch a top-six playoff spot in the Western Conference.

If the Kings don't receive any help below them in the standings, they could clinch a playoff berth with three straight wins over the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Utah Jazz on Saturday and Timberwolves on Monday.

The Timberwolves currently hold the No. 7 playoff seed as of Thursday, but really, Sacramento benefits when teams in contention below the No. 6 seed lose since the West standings are so tightly packed.

Minnesota (37-37), Oklahoma City (36-36), Dallas (36-37) and the Los Angeles Lakers (36-37) all are separated by just a half-game in the standings. The Kings' magic number decreases as the gap widens between themselves and these teams.

RELATED: Kings hold themselves accountable for sloppy loss to Celtics

Despite losing back-to-back games, Sacramento still is secure as the No. 3 seed with a five-game lead over the fourth-place Phoenix Suns. The Memphis Grizzlies have separated themselves as the No. 2 seed, however, winning four straight games since the Kings briefly leaped into second place on March 16.

There no longer is any doubt the Kings will clinch a playoff berth. It's now a matter of when, not if.

Contact Us