By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320
The long national nightmare is over for “Sacramento Proud” as their team’s six-game losing streak has come to an end in Chicago. The Kings (16-29) downed the Bulls 98-81 on Friday night at the United Center.
The last time the Kings won a basketball game was on January 7th in Phoenix. Those 16 days between wins seemed like an eternity for Sacramento fans.
A major change to the starting lineup
Sometimes a coach must shake things up to in order to get his team’s attention. In this case, Kings head coach – Luke Walton – made a change to his starting lineup. Guard Buddy Hield has been in a shooting slump, so Walton took Hield out of the starting rotation and replaced him with Bogdan Bogdanovic who has been the Kings sixth man all season.
Moving a starter to the bench is always dangerous because a coach never knows how the player will react. In this case, the lineup moves worked.
Hield took the change in stride
In reality, Hield did more than take things in stride – he thrived. Hield led the Kings in scoring by putting up 21 points in the game. He shot 7-for-12 overall and hit 5 of 9 from behind the 3-point line. Hield also grabbed eight rebounds.
After the game, Kings head coach Luke Walton was full of praise for Hield for his play and his reaction to his change in the rotation.
The key to the win was defense
This was the second game this season that the Kings held their opponent to under 90 points. The Kings are 2-0 in those games.
Sacramento held Chicago to just 39.2% (31-for-79) shooting overall and the Bulls hit only 8 of 37 (21.6%) from 3-point range.
The Kings caused the Bulls (17-30) to turn the ball over 21 times which resulted in 16 Sacramento points.
The Bulls largest lead of the game was three points.
- Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with 21 points
- Zach LaVine led the Bulls scoring attack with 21 points
The Glass cleaners
- Cristiano Felicio of the Bulls was the game’s leading rebounder with nine
- Buddy Hield led the Kings with eight rebounds
- De’Aaron Fox was the game’s assist leader with seven dimes
- Kris Dunn led the Bulls with six assists
The Kings travel to the Twin Cities where they will play the Timberwolves on Monday night.
The Bulls will play in Cleveland on Saturday night.