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Kings 115, Wizards 121: This is how playoff hopes die

The Kings blew it.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings’ playoff hopes were hanging by a thread. Although they aren’t officially eliminated yet, the Kings couldn’t afford to lose any should-win games. They should have won this game. They played poorly, and lost, and likely ended their playoff chase in the process. Despite a late surge to take the lead with 3 minutes remaining, the Kings gave the game away and lost 121-115.

Buddy Hield has an atrocious shooting night, going 1-8 from beyond the arc. De’Aaron Fox finished with 23 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds, but also had 6 turnovers. Willie Cauley-Stein disappeared for long stretches. Bogdan Bogdanovic continued to struggle. It was just an all around poor performance.

These are the games that a playoff team wins in businesslike fashion. The Kings aren’t there yet. Hopefully next season they’ll make a leap. This time last year the Denver Nuggets were struggling to close out games. This is a normal part of the ascent from bad to good, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.