The Phoenix Suns surpassed all their preseason projections. Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough to earn a playoff spot in the brutal Western Conference.
Archie Goodwin had a career-high 29 points off the bench and the Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings, 104-99, on Wednesday night in the season finale for both teams.
Marcus Morris tallied 22 points and six rebounds, while twin brother Markieff added 15 points for the Suns (48-34), whose record tied the 2008 Golden State Warriors for a team that did not reach the postseason in the 16-team playoff era.
The best team to not make the playoffs was the 1971-72 Suns, who went 49-33, but only the top four teams from each conference qualified.
Phoenix, which went 25-57 a year ago, snapped a three-game skid.
Ben McLemore netted a game-high 31 points for Sacramento (28-54), which closed the year by dropping six of its last seven.
The game was tied at 94-94 before Goodwin nailed a jumper and triple on consecutive possessions to stake Phoenix to a 99-94 cushion with 3:13 to play. Quincy Acy's tip-in got the Kings back within three, but Markieff Morris drove in for a layup at the other end and Sacramento never got within a possession again.
Earlier, the Kings led 24-21 after a quarter of play, but the Suns outscored them 26-23 in the second to tie the game at 47-47 heading into the break.
Sacramento led 74-71 after three.