The Sacramento Kings and their Kings teetered on the verge of clinching a playoff berth for about 3 nights earlier this week. But it finally came on Wednesday night as the team clinched its first postseason appearance since 2006, snapping the longest streak in American sports. But the night was doubly special for rookie forward Keegan Murray.
Many people questioned the Kings and their selection of Murray back on Draft Night 2022, and with fair reason. He wasn’t the most outstanding athlete coming out of college, and had an unorthodox shooting motion that looked as though it wouldn’t translate to the league. And after all, it was the Kings. Who could trust the Kings on draft night?
Kings Clinch, Keegan Murray Sets Rookie 3-Point Record
Keegan Murray stands alone pic.twitter.com/OCkO1lTiro
— Cameron Salerno (@cameronsalerno1) March 30, 2023
But it looks as though general manager Monte McNair and company knew what they were doing when they took the quiet kid out of Iowa.
Murray is not up for the Rookie of the Year award, and he hasn’t really ever even been in consideration. His numbers haven’t jumped off of the page, as there are rookies that are averaging higher numbers in nearly every statistical category. Except for one.
In addition to Sacramento clinching the elusive playoff berth, Murray also had a historic evening against the Blazers on Wednesday. He entered the contest needing 3 three-pointers to break the rookie record for most made in a season, a distinction held by Donovan Mitchell for the last five years.
Murray got to his goal. He hit five shots on the night, three of them coming from behind the arc, in order to set the record.
Murray Passes Mitchell, Could Have A Shot At 200
King things 👑
Keegan Murray beat the single-season rookie three-point mark set by Donovan Mitchell (187) in 2017-18 👏 pic.twitter.com/RzSEd6bRXD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 30, 2023
His 187 threes passes Mitchell’s 186, and Murray and the Kings still have six games to play. If the Kings don’t rest their players for any unreasonable stretch for the last two weeks, Murray will have a real shot at getting to the 200 mark and setting the bar even higher.
It is almost a given that he will end up with a wider margin than Mitchell did when he broke the record that was previously held by Damian Lillard. Mitchell passed Lillard by just two.
It is a good thing that Keegan Murray was able to break the record when he did, because there could be some rest coming for some of Sacramento’s key players. They have already secured a playoff spot, and there is no direct threat coming for their 3 seed. But they could be giving chase to the Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently two games up.
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