Sacramento Kings resting Fox, Sabonis, Huerter against Warriors

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Saturday, April 8, 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings are resting their top three scorers for their game against the Golden State Warriors that has major playoff implications.

Coach Mike Brown said De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Kevin Huerter all will sit out Friday night with Sacramento having clinched its playoff berth and will likely be locked in as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.

"Sitting those guys is my decision," Brown said. "Those guys went through shootaround today. I decided to sit them after shootaround."

The only way for the Kings to move up to No. 2 in the West would be by winning their final two games and ifMemphislost its last two contests. The Grizzlies tipped off earlier Friday night against aMilwaukeeteam resting several key players.

The game has much more meaning for the defending champion Warriors, who could be relegated to the play-in tournament if they lose one or both of their final two games.

Golden State entered the day in sixth place in the West and can be assured a top-six spot by winning at Sacramento and atPortlandon Sunday.

"You have games periodically when you run into a team that's missing a bunch of guys and it's really easy to let your guard down," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "There's zero excuse for letting our guard down. It's pretty simple. We have to win tonight in the playoffs. We got to win to get into the playoffs. ... So if we're out there letting our guard down, there's something wrong."

Depending on how things shake out over the final weekend, these teams could meet again in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since the Kings moved to Sacramento in the 1985-86 season.

The two teams, which are separated by a drive of about 90 miles, have never made the playoffs in the same season, adding intrigue if they were to meet.

"At the end of the day, if you expect to win a championship you just have to beat whoever is in front of you," Brown said.