Kings fall in Chicago 94-87



Photo credit: NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Sacramento Kings 94-87 on Saturday night in Chicago. It was a game that featured daunting defense and lacked on solid offense from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field. The Kings hit on 31 of 85 (.365) shots. They converted just 2 of 14 3-point opportunities. The Bulls shot .397 (31 of 78) and were 6 of 20 from beyond the 3-point line. Defense ruled the game.

The Kings out-rebounded the Bulls 55-40. Sacramento swept 19 balls off the glass to just 7 for Chicago. Even though they controlled the rebounding, it was not enough to give the Kings a win.

Sacramento really fell short in the assists category. They had just 12 assists for the game and had only 4 in the first half. Chicago recorded 21 assists.

Once again the Kings committed more turnovers than they had assists. They turned the ball over 16 times versus the Bulls.

Even with those less than spectacular statistics, the Kings were just 3 points down with 29 seconds left in the game. It was a battle of the defenses.

After the game, Kings’ coach Michael Malone said he was proud of how hard his team played and for keeping the game so competitive. He acknowledged there things that could have been down better, but Malone was happy with the way his team battled versus the Bulls.

Isaiah Thomas led all scorers in the game with 26 points. He also 5 assists. DeMarcus Cousins posted another double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds despite being double-teamed by the Bulls all game.

Rudy Gay had a quiet game with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Gay is drawing the attention of opposing defenses and is having a tough time putting up the kind of numbers he was posting earlier in the season. The Kings need to make some adjustments to allow Gay to be productive on offense.

The Bulls were led by Joakim Noah with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. He also had 5 blocked shots and 3 steals.

Taj Gibson scored 19 points on just 9 shots. Mike Dunleavy put up 16 points and was 3 of 6 for 3-pointers.

The loss dropped the Kings record to 23-43 for the season. Chicago is now 37-29 and playoff bound in the Eastern Division.

The Kings wrap up the 7 game road trip on Sunday in Minnesota versus the Timberwolves.

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