This was definitely a game the team needed. An opponent they were capable of handling at home and they did just that. After a slow start in the first quarter, the Kings used a 14-0 run to build a 17-point lead and they only grew the lead from there. The lead went over 30 at various points in the game and Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles continued to shine as they controlled the game when they played. Kings move back into the win column in dominant fashion.
Note: The Kings haven’t had 34 wins since the 2007-08 season.
The first quarter was a low scoring, back-and-forth affair between the two squads. De’Aaron Fox was going early, fighting his way into the paint and converting on 3-6 shots. A one-handed thunderous dunk was his highlight of the quarter. Nemanja Bjelica was also active with five points on 2-2 shooting, hitting one three. Marvin Bagley came in off the bench, hit a jumper over Robin Lopez, blocked Lopez the other way, then brought the ball all the way down the floor and laid it in. A Bogdan Bogdanovic stepback three over Lauri Markkanen to end the quarter brought good flashbacks. Kings led 24-23 after one.
The Kings used a 14-0 run in the second quarter to boost them to a 32-17 advantage over the Bulls and take a 56-40 lead into the half. While the Bulls missed shots badly and turned the ball over, the Kings took advantage and used pace and good ball movement for easy points. Buddy Hield knocked down two three pointers, Harry Giles went up to eight points and Willie Cauley-Stein had seven rebounds and led the team with three assists. The Kings shot 47% from the field compared to Chicago’s 38%. Chicago also had 11 turnovers to nine assists.
Sacramento extended their big lead to over 20 and then made it 96-66 as they poured on 43 points in one of their best third quarters in recent memory. The Bulls scored 31 points of their own. The Kings were getting balanced production from multiple players: Fox had 17 points, Hield had 16, Barnes had 15, Bagley had 14 and Giles had 12. Hey, that makes a good starting lineup too. Cauley-Stein added nine points and five assists which still led the team as Bogdanovic and Bjelica added eight points. The Kings led 99-71 after three.
The fourth quarter extended on the blowout already in place. Giles and Bagley continued to make fantastic plays on both sides of the floor to excite us with the future. The reserves got time to play and we were given seven minutes of Kosta Koufos floaters. Kings are now 34-35.
In restricted minutes (21), Marvin Bagley led the team with 21 points (9-14 shooting), nine rebounds, two assists and a block. Incredible.
Harry Giles was also playing some really good basketball as he filled the stat sheet in 21 minutes. Giles finished with 16 points on 8-14 shooting, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and three blocks.
De’Aaron Fox got a lengthy rest with the blowout but when he played, he looked good. He finished with 17 points on 6-12 shooting, 2-4 from three, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
Buddy Hield scored 16 points on 6-12 shooting also along with three rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. Harrison Barnes added 15 points on 7-11 shooting. Willie Cauley-Stein led the team with five assists.
The Kings shot 54-103 (52%) and 13-16 from the free throw line (81%).
Kings won the rebound battle 48-39 and the assist battle 28-20.
Chicago had 19 turnovers which led to 25 Kings points. Sacramento also had 30 fast break points to the Bulls’ 11.
Sacramento also won the points in the paint battle 80-56. The Bulls interior defense was non-existent.
The Kings host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. (PST). The Nets will be playing the Los Angeles Clippers prior to heading to Sacramento.