New Kings players Barnes and Burks excited to jump in, reach for playoffs
If the regular season ended today, the Kings would qualify for the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with a first-round matchup against the two-time defending NBA-champion Golden State Warriors in an Interstate 80 playoff series for the ages.
The idle Kings (30-26) moved into the eighth spot Monday night when the Los Angeles Clippers (31-27) lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Kings now lead the Clippers by percentage points in the conference standings. They are one game behind the seventh-place San Antonio Spurs and two games ahead of the 10th-place Los Angeles Lakers.
The Kings, who are trying to end the NBA’s longest postseason drought after 12 losing seasons, visit the Denver Nuggets (38-18) on Wednesday in their final game before the All-Star break. The Nuggets are second in the West.
The Kings will visit the Warriors on Feb. 21 in their first game after the break. Sacramento and Golden State have never met in the playoffs. In fact, the Kings and Warriors have never made the playoffs in the same year since the Kings came to Sacramento in 1985.