Hawks in the NBA | April 24-30

Former Hawkeye and current Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray found his footing when the Kings needed him most, but they were eliminated in Game 7 of the first round.


Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 23, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray (13) dribbles against Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (left) during the first quarter of game four of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Chase Center.

Colin Votzmeyer, Sports Reporter

Former Hawkeye and current Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray’s playoff debut came to an end on April 30, although he found his groove toward the end of the series.

The Kings fell to the defending champion Golden State Warriors, 120-100, in Game 7 of their first-round matchup, concluding an unexpectedly historic season for the franchise.

Although Murray struggled to find the net early in the series, the rookie found his footing when the Kings needed him most.

He filled the stat sheet in the series finale, scoring 10 points on 5-for-10 from the field. But he shot a rare 0-for-2 from 3-point range, with the Warriors catching onto his shooting hot streak and face-guarding him in the halfcourt.

Still, Murray added seven boards and an assist to the 28-minute performance.

He also nicked two steals from the Warriors, but he was often matched up against Warriors veteran Stephen Curry, who exploded for 50 points.

With the Kings on the brink of elimination in Game 6 on April 28, Murray broke out for a 15-point and 12-rebound double-double in the win, 118-99, to force the Game 7.

He played a team-high 45 minutes in the game and shot 5-for-17 from the field and 4-for-13 from deep. His 12 rebounds were also a team-high, and he added two assists and a block to the night.



Two nights earlier, the Kings lost Game 5 to the Warriors, 123-116, their third-straight loss of the series.

According to StatMuse, Murray is the only rookie in Kings history with double-digit playoff 3-pointers made. He scored two threes in his 10 points on 4-for-5 from the field in the first six minutes of the game, but he did not attempt another shot. He played 35 total minutes and grabbed six rebounds.

Murray finished fifth in this season’s Rookie of the Year Award voting, earning three second-place votes and 12 third-place votes. Out of the six players receiving votes, he was the only one whose team made the postseason.

Despite the season coming to a close, Murray has etched his name into NBA history as the all-time leader in three-pointers made by a rookie.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were eliminated by the first-seeded Denver Nuggets on April 25, and former Iowa star center Luka Garza did not see any game action.