by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls came into the game in Chicago on Saturday night looking to end losing streaks. The Kings had lost four games in a row and the Bulls had lost two consecutive games. Both teams had been beaten soundly on Friday night.
The Kings and Bulls played hard and gave their full 48-minute efforts in a game that ended with a controversial call – if you are a Sacramento fan. When the final buzzer sounded, the Bulls (22-23) had won the game 102-99 and ended their losing streak. The Kings (16-27) went to their locker room frustrated and the owners of a five-game losing streak – their longest of the season.
You call that a foul?
With 15-seconds on the clock and the game tied at 99-99, Dwyane Wade was able to steal the ball from the Kings Garrett Temple and start a fast break for the basket. Wade went up for an uncontested dunk and hit the back of the iron. DeMarcus Cousins was trailing Wade and may (emphasis on may) have brushed Wade on his way down after missing the dunk. The officials blew the whistle and called a foul on Cousins. Basically, the referees could not believe that superstar guard would miss the breakaway slam unless he was fouled.
Multiple video replays showed that there was no foul on the play but the play was not eligible for video review. The call stood. Wade made 1-of-2 free throws and the Bulls took a 100-99 lead.
The final 14-seconds
The Kings began working a play following a timeout when Taj Gibson was able to reach in and steal the ball from Cousins. The Bulls were able to score when Michael Carter-Williams put the ball through the hoop on an Alley Oop layup with an assist from Wade that gave the Bulls a 102-99 lead.
Garrett Temple brought the ball into the frontcourt quickly for the Kings and put up a 41-foot desperation shot that banged off the rim as the buzzer sounded. The game ended with the Bulls winning 102-99.
DeMarcus Cousins was a one-man wrecking crew
Cousins scored a game-high 42 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to record his 23rd double-double game of the season. Cousins scored those 42 points on just 28 shots. He converted 8-of-9 free throws and hit 2-of-7 shots from 3-point range. He sank those 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions late in the fourth quarter to keep his team in the game. Cousins had three assists and two blocked shots while committing only two turnovers in the contest. The Kings big man was their only player to score in double figures in the game.
To no one’s surprise it was the Wade and Butler show for the Bulls
Dwyane Wade led the Bulls scoring attack with 30 points. Wade did not have a great night shooting as he went 9-for-20 from the field. He did go an impressive 12-for-15 from the free throw line. Wade also added four assists, four blocked shots and three steals in the game. The superstar guard sent out a tweet to Bulls fans apologizing for their poor play in Atlanta on Friday night. Wade has nothing to apologize for after the way he played against the Kings on Saturday night.
Jimmy Butler scored 23 points and dished out seven assists against the Kings. He spent most of the game acting as the playmaker. Butler shot 6-for-14 from the floor and was a perfect 10-for-10 from free throw line. Butler and Wade went a combined 22-for-25 from the charity stripe.
Coach Joerger’s postgame analysis
- Good game
- Really proud of our guys
- Thought we played our tails off for 48-minutes
- (team) made major progress
- (We have to) keep working hard; we’re going to figure it out; work it out
- DeMarcus had a heck of a game
- (In this game) Too much Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler
- On the foul call on Cousins as Wade missed the dunk: Live ball – three on one
Kings needed another double figured scorer
If one other Kings player had scored in double figures, the final outcome might have been different. Nine other players participated in the game besides Cousins but none scored in double figures. Afflalo posted nine points and Collison, Temple and Lawson each scored eight points. With Rudy Gay sidelined for the rest of the season, one of the Sacramento players has to step up and become a double-figure scorer. More 3-point production could help that situation.
Rajon Rondo’s time in the Windy City may be coming to a close. Rondo played just six-minutes against the Kings on Saturday distributing four assists and scoring no points. The point guard who was so productive in Sacramento is finding it rough sledding in Chicago. Do not be surprised if Rondo is wearing a different uniform by the trade deadline in February because his time with the Bulls seems to be over.
Up next on the schedule
The Kings travel to Detroit where they will play the Pistons on Monday night. The Kings last win came over Detroit in Sacramento. The Kings will be looking to pick up their first win on the eight-game road trip versus the Pistons.
The Bulls will return to action on Tuesday in Orlando against the Magic.