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Kings 98, Bulls 81: A win at last

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The six-game losing streak is snapped.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Chicago Bulls Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls have talent, but a bad coach and multiple injuries (hey, that sounds familiar) definitely showed up early in the game as they couldn’t buy a basket. The Kings jumped out to a lead, only to give it up later. That was a recurring theme of the game until the fourth quarter when the Kings held a double-digit lead and for once, they kept it. Kyle Guy got his first basket, too. The six-game losing streak is a thing of the past for now.

Quarterly Recaps

Injury notes: Marvin Bagley (foot) is OUT. Richaun Holmes (shoulder) is OUT. Lauri Markkanen (pelvis) is OUT for Chicago. Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) is still OUT and Otto Porter is also OUT.

The game started with each team turning it over, which isn’t surprising at all. A Harrison Barnes dribble-drive that finished with a reverse layup opened the game’s scoring. It took four minutes for the Bulls to get their first points as the Kings had a 9-0 lead prior to that. The Kings ran in transition and ended up with their first 16 of 17 points coming in the paint. That one point came via free throw. Dewayne Dedmon blocked two shots on back-to-back possessions. Sacramento’s offense predictable sputtered and the Bulls made it 19-18 after trailing by 10 earlier. Harry Giles entered and dished three good assists. The Kings led 29-21 after one, with new sixth man Buddy Hield leading the way with seven points.

Kent Bazemore converted a layup on a feed from Giles and Giles later made a mid-range shot. The Bulls were on a 12-2 run and tied it up at 33 each. Dedmon kept some possessions alive on offense, but the Kings were short on their shots. Bogdan Bogdanovic drilled a pull-up three in transition to make the lead 40-33, Kings. De’Aaron Fox stole the ball and threw a down a monster one-hand jam. The lead grew to 10 for the Kings after a nice pass from Nemanja Bjelica to a cutting Bogi. It grew to 12 as Hield and Bjelica drained threes. The half would end with the Kings up 54-44 behind 13 points from Bjelica and 10 from Hield. Fox added nine points, six assists, two steals and four rebounds.

Zach LaVine opened the third with a drive right to the rim for a layup, but Barnes answered to go into double-figures for points. LaVine then hit two straight threes capped off with a dunk for his own personal 8-0 run and the lead became 56-54, Kings. The Bulls took a three point lead but Hield made eight points after that including two threes and then set Cory Joseph up for a three. The lead was 67-61 for Sacramento but the offense became quiet again which led to the Bulls tying it up on a LaVine fastbreak slam. The Kings closed it out on a 7-0 run and led 75-69 to end the third. Hield’s 21 points led the way and Fox got up to 13 points as he became more aggressive to end the quarter. LaVine’s 20 points carried the weight for the Bulls and Chandler Hutchinson’s seven points on 3-3 shooting off the bench gave a nice spark for Chicago.

Two Fox free throws a few minutes into the quarter would make the lead 81-71 and Bogi got more active on offense, which was good to see as he struggled to make an impact for much of the game. LaVine was called for a technical after thinking he was fouled and then Chicago head coach Jim Boylen was called for a tech right after. Bogi made both frees throws and then drilled a three after the inbounds. Kyle Guy made his first basket and also got a block. Kings win.

Notable Players

Buddy Hield held the role of the sixth man tonight and came out with a strong performance. Hield finished with 21 points on 7-12 shooting including 5-9 from three along with eight rebounds, one assist and one block. Buddy needed that.

Harrison Barnes was massively efficient tonight, going for 19 points on 8-14 shooting, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. He’s best when he doesn’t need to carry the workload too much and tonight was a prime example.

De’Aaron Fox only played 25 minutes (Cory Joseph played more at 27) but he really didn’t need to in the end. Fox ended with 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals. He converted 8-9 free throws, too.

Notable Stats

Sacramento shot 10-32 from deep (31.3%), which isn’t great but the Bulls went 8-37 (21.6%) which helped. The Kings went 18-21 from the line, good for 85.7%.

Chicago grabbed more rebounds at 43-42 but the Kings assisted more at 24-23.

Chicago turned the ball over 21 times and the Kings put in 16 points off of them.

The Kings had 16 fast break points to Chicago’s 17.

Next Game

The road trip heads to Minnesota on Monday as the Kings take on the Timberwolves at 5:00 p.m. PST.