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Kings finally end longest playoff drought in NBA history

Rocky Widner / National Basketball Association / Getty

Light the playoff beam.

The Sacramento Kings clinched a long-awaited postseason berth and snapped the longest playoff drought in NBA history thanks to their dominant 120-80 win Wednesday over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Sacramento shot 45.7% from the field and drained 18-of-48 attempts from downtown for its third victory in four games.

Malik Monk had a team-high 19 points, Domantas Sabonis posted another double-double, and Keegan Murray broke the NBA single-season rookie record for 3-point field goals.

Sacramento last made the playoffs in 2006 under Rick Adelman. With a starting lineup of Mike Bibby, Bonzi Wells, Metta World Peace (then known as Ron Artest), Kenny Thomas, and Brad Miller, the Kings lost their first-round clash with the San Antonio Spurs in six games.

After that season, the Kings elected not to retain Adelman, whose contract expired. Between then and the end of the 2021-22 season, the franchise employed 11 different head coaches, who went a combined 467-809 (36.6 winning percentage) over 16 consecutive losing seasons.

Only five of the 31 head coaches in franchise history have cumulative winning records with the Kings: Adelman, Les Harrison, Jack McMahon, Cotton Fitzsimmons, and current bench boss Mike Brown. That includes the franchise's time as the Kansas City Kings, Cincinnati Royals, and Rochester Royals.

The Kings' 16-year drought edged the Los Angeles Clippers in 2022 as the longest in NBA history. The Clippers went 15 seasons without making the playoffs in a stretch spanning three different cities. Their skid began in 1977 when they were the Buffalo Braves and continued throughout their entire six-year existence as the San Diego Clippers. They didn't make the playoffs until 1992 - eight years after moving to L.A.

After the Seattle Mariners qualified for Major League Baseball's playoffs in 2022, the Kings took over the dubious record for the longest active streak without a playoff appearance in the four major North American sports leagues. Before then, the Mariners hadn't made the postseason in 21 years.

With Sacramento playoff-bound, the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and NFL's New York Jets now share the record for longest playoff drought at 11 seasons.

Kings finally end longest playoff drought in NBA history
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