Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings' Historic NBA Playoff Drought Reaches 16 Years

Sacramento was officially eliminated from contention with a loss to the Warriors on Sunday

Kings eliminated from playoff contention, drought at 16 seasons originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

For the 16th straight season, the Kings will miss the NBA playoffs after they were eliminated from contention Sunday night. 

The 16-year streak without a playoff berth is an NBA record and became official following Sacramento’s 109-90 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday at the Golden 1 Center coupled with the San Antonio Spurs' win over the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the day.

Prior to the 2021-22 NBA season, the Kings were tied with the Los Angeles Clippers (1976-77 through 1990-91) for the longest postseason drought in league history. Now, they stand alone following Sunday's loss that dropped their record to 29-50.

The Kings had a chance to play spoiler to the Warriors’ playoff seeding hopes at home, but ultimately fell short on Sunday despite a thrilling end to their five-game road trip just two days prior.

Sacramento was able to delay elimination after going 4-1 on the trip, defeating the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic, falling to the Miami Heat and then ending on a high note with consecutive victories over the Houston Rockets. The Kings pulled off each of their four wins on the road trip by a margin of five points or less.

Prior to Sunday’s game, the Kings were two and a half games behind the Los Angeles Lakers and three and a half games behind the Spurs for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. With the team’s official elimination from playoff contention after the loss to the Warriors, the Kings must now look ahead to the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery where, as of right now, they hold the No. 7 position.

When the Kings were positioned at No. 6 earlier in the week, they had a 37.2 percent chance to land a top-four pick via the lottery and a nine percent chance, or one in 11 shot, of securing the No. 1 overall pick, according to NBC News Political Correspondent Steve Kornacki. 

While the team’s winning ways over the last six games were inspiring, Sacramento’s chances of landing a top draft pick have now fallen several points and, in the end, their hopes of fighting for a playoff spot were shattered with Sunday’s loss.

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