Hawks in the NBA | April 3-9

Sacramento Kings forward and former Iowa great Keegan Murray became the first rookie in NBA history to make 200 threes in a season on April 4.


Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 31, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Sacramento Kings small forward Keegan Murray (13) drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe (17, right) during the first half at Moda Center.

Colin Votzmeyer, Sports Reporter

Former Hawkeye and current Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray is the first rookie in NBA history to make 200 threes in a season.

Murray accomplished the feat on April 4 against the New Orleans Pelicans, sinking seven long balls for 21 points in a team-high 35 minutes.

The Kings won the game, 121-103, to earn a Pacific Division title — a division that includes the defending champion Golden State Warriors, a superstar-packed roster in the Los Angeles Clippers, the Kevin Durant-aided Phoenix Suns, and the Los Angeles Lakers behind LeBron James.

The Kings then dropped their last three games of the regular season — one to the Dallas Mavericks by four points on April 5, another to the Warriors by 22 on April 7, and the last to the Denver Nuggets by 14 on April 9 — but the Kings’ star players played limited minutes to rest for the playoffs in each of those losses.

Murray, on the other hand, continued to clock high minutes.

He shot 4-for-8 from the field for 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds in 30 minutes against the Mavs but cooled down for nine points on four made shots out of 13 attempts in a team-high 34 minutes against the Warriors. He ended the season with a team-high 26-minute game against the Nuggets, scoring 14 points on 6-of-12 from the field — including a posterizing dunk — as well as six boards.

The NBA’s regular season conclusion coming on April 9, the Kings finished with a 48-34 record — their winningest season since 2004-2005. They will kick off the first round of their postseason play as a third seed, matching up with the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors for the first game in a best-of-seven series on April 15.

The G League’s season ending last week, Minnesota Timberwolves center Luka Garza has seen minimal minutes in the team’s last few games of the season, but he played six minutes off of the bench in the team’s 151-131 win over the San Antonio Spurs on April 8. He scored four points and grabbed three boards.

The T-Wolves ended the season with a 42-40 record, securing an eighth-place finish for a play-in tournament berth.

They will play the seventh-place Los Angeles Lakers on April 11. If they win, they will go on to play the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the playoffs. If not, they will play the winner of the other play-in game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder for the last spot in the Western Conference side of the playoffs.

Toronto Raptors guard Joe Wieskamp has also seen very little of the floor, the Raptors having secured their ninth-place finish for the play-in tournament with a 41-41 record on the season.

But in the team’s season finale on April 9 against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wieskamp found 15 minutes off the bench in the win but was scoreless on 0-for-6 from the field.

The Raptors will host the 10th-seeded Chicago Bulls on April 12. A win matches them against the loser of the play-in game between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference side of the playoffs. A loss ends their season.