Kings-Celtics gameday live: Keegan Murray nearing NBA rookie record for 3-point goals

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Kings forward Keegan Murray is closing in on Donovan Mitchell’s NBA rookie record for 3-point goals in a season.

Mitchell, a four-time All-Star who now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, made 187 3-pointers in his first NBA season with the Utah Jazz in 2017-18. Murray needs 16 3-pointers in Sacramento’s last 11 games to break Mitchell’s record.

Murray had 172 3-point goals as the Kings (43-28) prepared to open a four-game homestand against the Boston Celtics (49-23) on Tuesday at Golden 1 Center. He is currently averaging 2.5 3-point goals per game and seems to be heating up with the Kings on the verge of ending the longest playoff drought in NBA history after 16 consecutive losing seasons.

Murray went 5 of 10 from 3-point range to finish with 19 points in Saturday’s 132-118 win over the Washington Wizards. He went 6 of 14 from beyond the arc while scoring 22 points in Monday’s 128-120 loss to the Utah Jazz.

Kings coach Mike Brown, point guard De’Aaron Fox and the rest of the team want Murray to keep shooting with confidence.

“Guys are always screaming at him,” Fox said. “Mike’s on him the most, just about shooting the ball, about staying confident no matter what’s going on. He’s one of the best shooters in the league, so no one in this locker room wants to see him passing up any type of shot.”

Murray, who came out of Iowa as the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, is averaging 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in his first NBA season. He is shooting 44.5% from the field and 40.7% from 3-point range.

Murray currently ranks fourth on the all-time rookie list for 3-point goals in a season, trailing Mitchell (187), Damian Lillard (185) and Saddiq Bey (175). Murray passed Stephen Curry (166), Landry Shamet (167), Luka Doncic (168) and Anthony Edwards (171) in Monday’s game against Utah.

Huerter update

The Kings are once again listing sharpshooter Kevin Huerter as questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Celtics. The 24-year-old shooting guard has missed the past two games with a strained right popliteus, which is a small muscle behind the knee.

Brown was asked about Huerter’s status following Monday’s game against the Jazz.

“He’s close,” Brown said. “If this is a playoff game, he’d probably be able to play, but there’s no need for me to rush him back. Kind of like Foxy a week ago or whatever. Really no need to rush Fox back when we had a tight crunch of games, especially when we see that we have a day off coming, a practice day and then a game, and we’re close to the end of the season. It also gives us an opportunity. We feel like we’re deep and we always talk about the next man step up, so it can’t be any different. The next man’s got to step up and give us a chance to continue to take a look at different combinations.”

Celtics at Kings

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Golden 1 Center

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Odds: Celtics -5.0

Over/under: 239

Injury report

Celtics: OUT — Danilo Gallinari (knee); Mfiondu Kabengele (G League); Payton Pritchard (heel).

Kings: QUESTIONABLE — Kevin Huerter (popliteus).

Upcoming schedule

March 21 vs. Boston Celtics

March 24 vs. Phoenix Suns

March 25 vs. Utah Jazz

March 27 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

March 29 at Portland Trail Blazers