Kings eliminate Warriors from play-in tournament with 118-94 victory – The Associated Press

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Kings eliminate Warriors from play-in tournament with 118-94 victory – The Associated Press

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Chants of “Light the Beam!” » began midway through the fourth quarter as the Sacramento Kings continued to attack the Golden State Warriors.

A year after seeing their season ended by their neighbors, the Kings dealt the Warriors a little revenge in emphatic fashion with a victory that could have signaled the end of a dynasty.

Keegan Murray scored 32 points, De’Aaron Fox added 24 and the Kings stayed alive in the play-in tournament, eliminating the Warriors with a 118-94 victory Tuesday night.

“We knew what was at stake,” Fox said. “It was just another obstacle in our way. We must overcome this obstacle. Obviously losing to this team last year and obviously playing this team now, it’s like, of course we have to play this team.

Sacramento advanced to play New Orleans on Friday night with a chance to return to the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference after ending a record 16-year NBA playoff drought last season.

The Kings avenged a Game 7 loss at home to Golden State in last year’s first round by playing cleaner and losing balls faster against the older Warriors in what was one of the most important for the franchise in two decades.

The loss kept Golden State out of the playoffs for the third time in the last five seasons, including two eliminations in the play-in tournament. The Warriors committed 16 turnovers, gave up 15 offensive rebounds and way too many open 3-pointers, looking nothing like the dynastic team that won four titles from 2015-2022.

“I was a sophomore in high school and watching them win championships,” Fox said. “We have been watching this team for a long time. If it’s the end, that’s it. I’m glad we were able to beat this team at this point, but they definitely had a hell of a run.

Klay Thompson missed all 10 shots from the field in what could have been his final game with the Warriors as he heads toward unrestricted free agency this summer and a potential breakup of the championship trio of Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.

“We need Klay back. I know he had a tough night tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I know I speak for everyone in the organization, we want him back. Obviously, there’s unfinished business and it needs to be taken care of… But what Klay has meant to this franchise, as good as he is, we definitely want him back.

While Thompson struggled, Curry didn’t get enough help. Curry finished with 22 points but was hounded for much of the game by Keon Ellis.

Undrafted Ellis, who was on a two-way contract until February, added 15 points to accompany his solid defense. Harrison Barnes scored 17 and Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Sacramento.

“For the most part, they put it on us the whole game,” Curry said. “There’s really no way around it.”

The meeting between the Northern California rivals separated by less than 100 miles was a rematch of last year’s series won by Golden State. Curry scored 50 points in Game 7.

The crowd was loud from the start, although the energy didn’t quite reach the level of last year, when Sacramento fans celebrated the end of a record playoff drought.

Murray made four 3-pointers in the first quarter and the Kings built their lead to 16 points in the second quarter before the Warriors rallied behind their bench to cut the deficit to 54-50 at halftime.

Golden State got within a point early in the third quarter before Sacramento responded with a 19-5 run thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Ellis and more big shots from Murray to bring the lead back at 15 points. The kings were never threatened thereafter.

“The first play was mine and we kind of continued that momentum early in the game,” Murray said. “When your shot falls, especially when mine falls, they always seem to find me.”

FOLLOWING

Kings: Sacramento is 0-5 in the regular season against New Orleans and has not been winless in six or more games against the same opponent in a season since going 0-8 against the Los Angeles Lakers 1983-84 regular season and playoffs.

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APNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba



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