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Kings advance in play-in tournament with 118-94 win over Warriors

SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Kings defeated the Golden State Warriors 118-94 in a play-in battle at the Golden 1 Center on Tuesday night, moving one step closer to clinching a second-straight playoff appearance.

It was a thrilling rematch between two teams who faced off in the most exciting playoff series of last season. Golden State eliminated Sacramento from last year's postseason in a Game 7 game at the Golden 1 Center. That series was Sacramento's first playoff appearance since 2006.

Sacramento led by as much as 15 in the first half, but the Warriors stuck around and went into halftime only trailing by four points: 54-50. Sacramento then ended the fourth quarter up by 16 and kept their foot on the gas over the final 12 minutes. Sacramento led by as much as 26 in the fourth quarter.

Sacramento had big games from De'Aaron Fox, Keegan Murray and Domantas Sabonis. Murray scored 11 of the team's first 15 points and ended the game with a team-high 32 points.

Sabonis recorded another double-double with a stat line of 16 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Fox added 24 points and 6 assists.

Klay Thompson was held scoreless, shooting 0-10 from the field. Steph Curry led the way for Golden State with 22 points. Draymond Green had 12 points.

The Kings won the game despite only recording 14 points from their bench unit. The injured Malik Monk is still expected to be out a few more weeks and could possibly return to the floor as early as the second round of the playoffs if Sacramento makes it that far.

Sacramento will now play the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday with the final playoff spot in the Western Conference on the line. It will be a tough test for Sacramento, who was swept by New Orleans during their five-game regular season series.

New Orleans, who ended the regular season as the 7th seed, lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, who finished as the 8th seed, 110-106 in the play-in tournament. The format of the tournament means the loser of the game between the 7th and 8th seeds plays the winner of the game between the 9th and 10th seeds for the final playoff spot.

The Lakers' win means they secured the 7th seed in the playoffs and will face the defending champion Denver Nuggets (2nd seed) in the first round.

The winner of Friday's game in New Orleans between the Kings and the Pelicans will face the Oklahoma City Thunder, the top seed in the west. Sacramento and OKC split their regular season series 2-2.

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