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Kings 108, Bulls 89: Fox explodes in the third quarter

A second half takeover by De’Aaron Fox propelled the Kings to a comeback victory in Chicago.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings were struggling mightily in the first half, which the Chicago Bulls took complete advantage of. A plethora of missed shots, coming up empty after forcing a turnover and being out-hustled were common themes found in the first half for Sacramento. Then, sophomore point guard De’Aaron Fox decided it’s now or never and scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half to seal a Kings victory on the road. Sacramento improves to 14-12 and finish the road trip at a record of 3-1.

Sacramento started the first quarter looking good, with Willie Cauley-Stein finishing off shots from De’Aaron Fox assists and getting a putback dunk. The Kings got off to a 10-4 lead, but things quickly went south. The Chicago Bulls stormed right back led by former King Zach LaVine who had 10 points on 4-4 shooting to end the quarter. Fox and Buddy Hield each had zero points and Hield was making awful passes out there. Marvin Bagley came off the bench and scored six points in six minutes. The Kings were shooting 39% to and were trailing 26-33 after 12 minutes.

Again, another flat-footed performance by the Kings in the second quarter. The Bulls constantly turned the ball over and missed some shots, but Sacramento would find a way to not produce points on the offensive end. Chicago even went up 56-42 late in the quarter as the Kings had a scoring drought lasting over 2:40. Hield finally made a three late but when the Kings got a chance to trim the lead, Nemanja Bjelica turned the ball over and Lauri Markkanen almost made the half-court three. Bagley led the Kings with 12 points, while Fox was 0-5 for two points. LaVine went up to 12 points as well and the Bulls were getting solid production all-around. The half ended 56-45.

What a change of events in the third! It was led by De’Aaron Fox, who scored 16 points in just this quarter alone. The Bulls team as a whole scored 18! Sacramento poured in 36 and switched the tide in this game, taking an 81-74 lead. Even Buddy Hield started to get going, making two three’s late in the quarter to help Fox’s run. Cauley-Stein had an 11 point, 10 rebound double-double to end the quarter, too. LaVine continued to carry the Bulls with 19 points, and no other player for Chicago scored more than 10. That’s the quarter we were looking for.

Sacramento put in another fun quarter to close out Chicago as they should’ve. Two Bogdan Bogdanovic three’s put this game at 106-86 with about two minutes left and there was no way the Bulls would be able to come back from that. Hield slapped the ball away from Bobby Portis for a fitting ending to this game. Kings win 108-89!

Best Players

Well, De’Aaron Fox is easily the first player on this list. Three after three, even calling glass on one, and using his dynamic speed to blow by every defender, the Kings don’t win if Fox didn’t turn into a superhero in the second half. Along with 25 points, Fox finished with six assists, four rebounds and four steals shooting 8-16 from the field. He was 0-5 in the first half.

Buddy Hield equally had a rough first half and didn’t make his first three until there were seconds remaining in the second quarter. He also turned it up a notch to assist in Fox’s takedown of the Bulls. He finished with 14 points, four rebounds and four steals.

Iman Shumpert had a really rough first half in terms of turning the ball over, but he played a clean second half and helped the team with 14 points, five assists and four steals.

Marvin Bagley and Bogdan Bogdanovic each scored 16 points off the bench. Bogdanovic nailed deep three’s in the fourth to help keep this one away and also secured six rebounds. Bagley was 5-9 from the field but all of his misses were inches away from going in, otherwise he could’ve had a perfect 9-9 from the floor if luck was on his side a few more times.

Willie Money Watch

Willie attempted some questionable shot attempts, but did finish with 11 points, three assists and three steals. His 16 rebounds easily stands out as one of his best performances in terms of grabbing and securing the ball, something he struggled with at times.

Notable Stats

The Kings were 3-14 from deep at one point, but finished 16-37! They finally took more threes given they make them at a high attempt and it earned them a win. They were also 12-15 from the free throw line.

Sacramento had 28 assists compared to Chicago’s 16. Chicago only had six assists in the second half.

The Bulls also turned the ball over 27 times. Sacramento put in 31 points from them but it should’ve been much more.

The Bulls only scored 33 points in the second half.

The Game in One Sentence

I’m really impressed with how the Kings reversed their fortune in just one half.

Next Game

Sacramento returns home to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves this Wednesday at 7:00 PM PST.