Kings playoff tracker: Sacramento has new magic numbers following win over Phoenix Suns
The Kings took another big step toward the playoffs with a 135-127 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night at Golden 1 Center.
Sacramento strengthened its hold on the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference while Phoenix fell to fifth. The Kings are 5 ½ games ahead of the fourth-place Los Angeles Clippers and six games ahead of the Suns. They can clinch a playoff spot as soon as Saturday with a win over the Utah Jazz combined with losses by the Clippers and Suns. The Clippers will play the New Orleans Pelicans while the Suns face the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Kings are all but assured of making the playoffs for the first time since 2006 with a strong likelihood of securing homecourt advantage in the first round. Here’s what they have to do to end the longest playoff drought in NBA history — and the longest active streak in North American professional sports — after 16 consecutive losing seasons.
Current position: No. 3 in the Western Conference
Who they would play: If the playoffs started today, the Kings would play the No. 6 seed, the Golden State Warriors, in the first round of the playoffs.
Homecourt advantage: Yes, the Kings would currently have homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which will begin April 15.
Next up: The Kings will play the Utah Jazz on Saturday at Golden 1 Center.
Games remaining: 9
Magic number for playoffs: 2
The top six teams in the West will secure automatic playoff berths. The Minnesota Timberwolves (37-37) and Los Angeles Lakers (37-37) are tied for seventh in the West. Both teams would have to go 8-0 to finish with 45 wins. The Kings must win two more games to assure themselves of a better record than the Timberwolves, who are 2-1 against the Kings this season. They will meet again Monday in Sacramento in a game. If the Timberwolves win, they will hold the tiebreaker based on their record in the head-to-head matchup. If the Kings win, they will hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their superior conference record.
Magic number for homecourt advantage: 3
The top four teams in the West will have homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Suns (38-35) are currently fifth followed by the Warriors (39-36). If the Suns go 9-0 to finish with 47 wins, the Kings would only have to go 2-7 to match that record. The Kings would hold the tiebreaker based on their conference record. If the Warriors go 7-0 to finish with 46 wins, the Kings would have to go 3-6 to assure themselves of a better record. The Warriors lead the season series 2-1 with one more matchup set for April 7 in Sacramento. A loss would give the Warriors the tiebreaker based on the head-to-head matchup, but a win would give the Kings the tiebreaker by virtue of their conference record.