The Kings make it rain in Portland to get a big 123-111 win on Saturday night

Photo: Richaun Holmes returned to the Kings lineup on Saturday night @NBCS

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Where were you on December 8, 2012? The Sacramento Kings were in Portland and that was the last time they won a basketball game in “Rip City” until Saturday night. After suffering 12 consecutive losses over seven-plus years in Portland, the Sacramento Kings broke the curse and beat the Trail Blazers on their homecourt 123-111.

Playoff implications

The Trail Blazers (28-37) and Kings (28-35) are both fighting to jump into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. That slot is currently held by the Memphis Grizzlies who have not been able to distance themselves from the Kings, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Spurs and even the Suns who have a real chance to qualify for the playoffs.

This was the final meeting of the season between the Kings and the Blazers. The teams split the series 2-2.

The Kings started fast

The Kings started the game like a “Top Fuel” dragster. Harrison Barnes led the way scoring 11 points in the first quarter that saw Sacramento outscore Portland 40-24.

The Kings shot 55.2-percent (16-for-29) overall in the period and went 5-for-9 (55.6%) from behind the 3-point line. They dished out 11 assists in the first 12 minutes while making five steals. SAC was simply overwhelming.

The train kept rolling in the second quarter

The Kings did not cool off in the second period. Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic decided it was time “to make it rain” 3-pointers. The two shooting guards combined to hit 7-of-8 shots from downtown. As a team, Sacramento shot 9-for-12 (75%) from behind the arc.

The Kings outscored the Blazers 37-30 in the quarter.

Hield put up 14 points while Bogdanovic added 11.

At halftime, Sacramento held a 77-54 lead over Portland.

The Trail Blazers did just roll over and quit

When you have CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard on your team, you are never out of contention as long as there is time on the clock. Portland did not get hot, but they did play better than the Kings in the third quarter.

Sacramento cooled off in the third stanza as might have been expected. They shot 6-for-21 (28.6%) from the field; however, five of those baskets came from 3-point land.

Portland won the quarter 26-23, but the Kings still held a 100-80 lead after 36 minutes of play.

Wave the white flag

The Kings opened the final quarter by going on an 8-2 run that broke the Trail Blazers back. Portland tried to get back into the game, but it was too late.

Terry Stotts emptied his bench and the reserves played with vigor, but it was a futile effort.

The Kings won the game 123-111.

Top Performers

Leading scorers

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic was the game’s leading scorer with 27 points
  • Hassan Whiteside and CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 19 points each

Glass cleaners

  • Whiteside was the top rebounder with 11 grabs to give him a double-double
  • Richaun Holmes – who supplied some much-needed energy to the Kings – hauled in eight rebounds

Dropping dimes

  • De’Aaron Fox made it a double-double game by dishing out 11 assists in the contest
  • Lillard and McCollum led Portland with six assists each

Up next

The Kings jumped on their plane and flew back to Sacramento where they will host the defending NBA Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.

Portland will be off until Tuesday when they will host the Phoenix Suns.




Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Heild chalks winning three point contest off bucket list

photo from The Sacramento Kings Buddy Heild takes aim as he came out the winner of the All Star game three point shooting contest in Chicago Sunday

On the Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Who would have ever expected that the Sacramento Kings Buddy Heild would win the three point contest at the All Star game in Chicago

#2 It took 108 shots for Heild to beat the Phoenix Suns Devin Booker, Heild hit four of five shots to get past Booker to win it.

#3 What does it mean for the city of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings organization for Heild to win the three point contest at the All Star game.

#4 “Like I said earlier, as a shooter, this is on your bucket list. You have to come in, and you want to win a 3-point shootout. With a stacked field like that, it makes it even better” said Heild after the contest.

#5 The Kings host the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night at Golden One a 7pm tip, Charlie sets this game up for us.

Sacramento Kings podcasts are heard Tuesdays with Charlie O at


Doncic and Prozingis lead the Mavs to a 130-111 win over the Kings in “Big D”

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings wanted to close out their short two-game road trip on a high note by handing the Dallas Mavericks (33-22) a loss on their homecourt heading into the All-Star Break. The Kings (21-33) knew they would have a big task on their hands because All-Starter Luka Doncic was going to make his return to the lineup after missing the previous seven games due to an ankle injury.

The Doncic Factor

For the rest of his career, Luka Doncic will always be tied to the Sacramento Kings in a bad way. Almost everyone associated with the NBA expected the Kings to draft Doncic because of his Euro pedigree and the Euro leanings of the Sacramento front office. When that did not happen, most experts and analysts were shocked. Now that Doncic is on the verge of becoming a real superstar, the decision to pass Doncic in the draft has become magnified.

Every Doncic success will be viewed as a Sacramento failure because they could have drafted Luka with their number two pick in 2018. Doncic will start the All-Star game on Sunday and he could have done that as a Sacramento King.

On Tuesday night, Doncic was the leading scorer in the game putting up 33 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Some will say that Doncic will always be in the mood to punish the Kings. Do not believe that rubbish. Doncic does not care about the Kings. He is very happy playing for billionaire Mark Cuban in Dallas who will spend whatever is necessary to put the players around him to win an NBA Championship.

Lack of defense

The Kings allowed the Mavericks to score at least 30 points in all four quarters of the game on Wednesday night. They allowed Dallas to shoot 56.5% from the field in the game. The Mavs hit 17 of 40 (42.5%) of their 3-point attempts.

A team like Dallas cannot be defeated when their opponent fails to show up on defense.

Top Scorers

  • Doncic was the game’s leading scorer while Kristaps Prozingis also had a double-double game with 27 points and 13 rebounds plus he added five assists
  • Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer coming off the bench to put up 22 points to go along with nine assists

The Glass Cleaners

  • Prozingis was the game’s leading rebounder with 13
  • Hield, Barnes and Bjelica all pulled down seven rebounds each for SAC

Dropping Dimes

  • Buddy Hield was the game’s assists leader with his nine dimes
  • Luca Doncic led Dallas with eight

Up next

The Kings will return to play on Thursday, February 20 when they will host the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Mavericks will return to action on February 21 in Orlando.

Hield, Kings shock the Wolves with fourth quarter, overtime blitz

By Morris Phillips

Buddy Hield coming off the bench? Yeah, that’s working quite nicely.

After shooting poorly over an extended period dating back to December which in part prompted coach Luke Walton to take his leading scorer out of the starting lineup, Hield put on a good face and took his demotion in stride.

But being a team player didn’t immediately perk up his game. That transformation came on Monday night in Minneapolis… in the fourth quarter with the Kings in a seemingly helpless place trailing by 19 points after a sleepy, defensive effort through three quarters.

Hield scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, part of his career-best 42-point night, as the Kings wiped out a 22-point deficit in the final 5:42 and shocked the Timberwolves in overtime, 133-129. The Kings’ comeback was so improbable, it hadn’t been accomplished previously in the next generation statistics era beginning in 1997. Over the final 2:49, the Kings wiped out a 17-point deficit to send the game into overtime, where they prevailed. Over the previous 24 seasons, and in well over 8,000 occasions, teams had trailed by 17 points with less than three minutes remaining in regulation or overtime, and lost each time.

Then the Kings came up with the comeback of comebacks on Monday.

“We should be able to play with a 15-point lead with a couple of minutes left. They made shots. We didn’t execute our defensive game plan. We didn’t get rebounds when we needed to. We didn’t make the needed plays,” said Wolves coach Ryan Saunders.

Over the final 5:42 of regulation, the Kings scored 33 points, in itself a once-in-a-generation accomplishment for offense in such a short period. Hield came up with four of the seven Kings’ 3-pointers in the final stretch, including a 29-foot bomb with 30 seconds remaining. Only one more three, from Nemanja Bjelica, came in overtime, as the Kings shot 18 of 40 from distance for the game.

But that was small bits compared to the Wolves, who made a franchise-record 23 (in 46 attempts) but still came up short. Minnesota lost for the 10th consecutive outing, which led to a locker room filled with disbelief after the game. Shabazz Napier, who missed a pair of critical free throws with 34 seconds remaining even invoked the memory of Kobe Bryant in relaying his disappointment in his and his team’s performance.

“The competitor he is, he would be upset with us, truly upset with us,” Napier said. “Today we did a dishonor to him , to the Minnesota Timberwolves organization, to the fans.”


The Kings play defense and beat the Bulls 98-81 on Friday in Chicago

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.

Top performers

Leading scorers

  • 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

Dropping dimes

  • De’Aaron Fox was the game’s assist leader with seven dimes
  • Kris Dunn led the Bulls with six assists

Up next

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.




Royalty Flushed: Kings drop sixth straight in Detroit,127-106

By Morris Phillips

Losing streaks are hard enough to digest, and the individual moments within those streaks even more so.

For the Kings, losing at the middling Pistons, the ninth-ranked team in the Eastern Conference, for their sixth straight loss while allowing Detroit 19 points more than their season average may rank as the nadir for fading Sacramento.

It certainly felt like it in the third quarter when the Pistons turned a 57-50 advantage at the half into a rout.

“Basketball is a simple game: Defend without fouling, make the right play and knock down shots early,” coach Bill Walton said. “I feel like we didn’t do any of those things.”

The Kings certainly didn’t defend. The Pistons were without Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, along with taking the occassion to send a message regarding punctuality to rookie Sekou Doumbouya, who didn’t start for the first time in 10 games. Despite the absences, the Pistons got way too comfortable shooting the basketball at 53 percent for the game, and at an even higher clip than that in their 36-point, third quarter that put the game away.

Meanwhile, the Kings certainly didn’t have a coherent plan to match the high-scoring Pistons. Missing 25 of their 35 3-point shot attempts kept Sacramento’s offense disjointed and unable to make up the deficit, which grew and grew.

“There are times where we are out there playing good basketball and there are times when we’re not,” De’Aaron Fox said. “I said it before, you just try to play the best basketball you can for the most amount of time. I don’t think we’re doing that right now.”

With the recent trade of Trevor Ariza to Portland, and the Pistons’ lineup changes, the game became a battle of new faces. One stood out: Reggie Jackson, playing in his first game after missing 42 due to a back injury, led the Pistons with 22 points and four assists.

“When you alternate (Jackson with Derrick Rose, who also scored 22 points), you have stability at the point guard position, and that’s what this league is all about, guys that can create and run the floor,” coach Dwayne Casey said of his team’s offense.

Rose, the NBA’s renaissance man, and the guy most frequently mentioned to upgrade a playoff contender’s outlook down the stretch of this season, scored better than 20 points for the 10th straight game, matching his career-best stretch from his MVP season in 2011.

Christian Wood added 23 points to give Detroit three scorers with 20 or more, and Svi Mykhailiuk added 13. The Pistons poured it on in a 70-point, second half that far too much resembled a basketball clinic for the Kings’ liking.

“It’s about where we’re going and I’m a very patient person,” Walton said. “I believe in our group, but we need to do a lot of things including starting games with a much more competitive, engaged mindset. So, I still have all the belief in the world in our team. It’s still surreal to be coaching this team, but there are some things that we need to improve on and improve on quickly because it’s too late in the season to be having these same types of mistakes so frequently.”

The Kings continue their road swing on Friday in Chicago. The Kings and Bulls will be meeting for the second time this season after the Chicago held on for a 113-106 win at Golden 1 Center on December 2.






Another Night in Sacramento: Rockets race to big lead, then hold on to beat the Kings, 113-104

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO–You know the story: since the Kings’ last playoff appearance in the spring of 2006, they’ve accumulated 13 losing seasons, run through 10 coaches, two arenas and finished last in the Pacific Division five times.

But that’s just the surface. Below the surface–or below .500–the Kings’ story gains greater focus. Eliminating the first 10 games of each of the last 14 seasons, including the current one–a sample size of 956 games–the Kings have held a winning record just 66 times.

That’s a winning record 6.9 percent of the time in 13 plus seasons. The most significant Kings’ won-loss record since 2006? March 6 when the Kings were 33-32. They lost three of their next four games and haven’t been over .500 since.

51 of the 66 occasions with a winning record happened last season under coach Dave Joerger, but the occurrence wasn’t treated as an upswing. Joerger was fired by GM Vlade Divac after the season.

So Monday was business as usual: a new Kings’ coach, Luke Walton, a losing record, and a tough loss–113-104 to the Houston Rockets–at home. The Kings have dropped four straight, and are just 12-13 since their 0-5 start to the season that foreshadowed continued playoff irrelevance.

By one measure, the Kings put themselves in harm’s way on Monday by beating the Rockets 119-118 at the buzzer on Nemanja Bjelica’s 3-pointer December 9 in Houston. Since then the Rockets have won six of seven and seen the one-two punch of James Harden and Russell Westbrook grow more cohesive. The pair came into Monday’s contest averaging 62 plus points per game. They scored 62 Monday after combining for just five points in a first quarter in which the Rockets exploded to a 37-21 lead.

After leading by 16 points after a quarter and 86-63 with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter, the Rockets made it interesting. Houston clanked through a 16-point fourth while seeing their lead paired to 102-96 at one point. But that’s as close as it got: the Rockets responded with a pair of Clint Capela free throws then Westbrook’s 3-pointer that increased the lead to 107-96 with 4:13 remaining.

The Rockets shot 3 for 17 in their uncharacteristic fourth quarter, but all three of the makes were 3-pointers.

“You get up 18, 20 points and you start doing things that you weren’t doing to gain the lead,” Harden said. “It happens.”

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 31 points, 19 of those in the fourth quarter. Fox didn’t get much help; starters Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield missed 12 of their combined 13 3-point attempts and finished with nine and 10 points, respectively. The Kings outrebounded the Rockets, 49-39, but couldn’t fully take advantage of Houston’s smallish lineups with Capela the only player over 6’6″ to see action.

Hield, the Kings’ leading scorer, was a spectator in the fourth quarter as the Kings mounted their comeback. Walton explained afterwards.

“It wasn’t a punishment at all. It was more, `Look, we’re a team and we’re trying to win out here and if these guys are going well, well then we keep rolling with them,'” Walton said.

Bogdan Bogdanovich missed his second straight game with a sore ankle. Harry Giles continues to be out, he’s missed the last 13 games for the Kings.

Capela contributed 15 points, 14 rebounds in 41 minutes on an admittedly sore right heel. Harden played 38 minutes with a brace on his knee that coach Mike D’Antoni revealed was bothersome. Still, the NBA’s leading scorer put up 34 points, five assists with Westbrook adding 28.

The Rockets conclude their road swing in San Francisco in a meeting with the Warriors on Christmas Day.

The Kings host the reeling Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.





Kings surprise the Rockets on a last-second 3-point prayer

By Charlie O. Mallonee 

The Sacramento Kings shocked the 18,055 fans at the Toyota Center in Houston — when with one-second left to go in the game — Nemanja Bjelica put up a 33-foot, 3-point jump shot that went in for the winning basket. The Kings players ran off the bench to mob Bjelica, while the Rockets stood around with mouths wide open trying figure out what had just happened.

What had happened was the Kings had beaten the Houston Rockets 119-118 to close out their four-game road trip. What was even more of a surprise was this was the second game of a back-to-back set on the road. On Sunday, the Kings beat the Dallas Mavericks on a last-second basket also by Bjelica.

The Kings finished the road trip 2-2. SAC suffered back-to-back losses in Portland and San Antonio before putting together consecutive wins over Dallas and Houston (15-8). After losing the first two losses, the Kings could have easily gone 0-4 on this road trip. Finishing with two last-second victories over two of the best teams in the Western Conference is a testament to the Kings tenacity and response to the new coaching staff.

Sacramento (10-13) has endured a very tough time without two of their star players – Marvin Bagley III and De’Aaron Fox. The good news for the Kings is that Bagley — who has been cleared for full basketball contact — may well be back in the lineup on Wednesday night when the OKC Thunder visits the Golden 1 Center. The team reports that Fox’s rehabilitation is going well, but no timetable has been set for his return.

This game was truly a battle that featured 12 lead changes and 14 ties.

Leading Scorers

  • Russell Westbrook was the high scorer in the game putting 34 points in the scorebook.
  • Buddy Hield led the Kings scoring attack with 26 points.

The Glass Cleaners

  • J.P. Tucker pulled down 19 rebounds and made it a double-double game by scoring 10 points.
  • Harrison Barnes was the Kings top rebounder with eight.

Dishing out dimes

  • James Harden was the leading assist distributor dishing out 10 dimes to go with 27 points.
  • Trevor Ariza contributed seven assists for the Kings.

Game Notes

  • The Kings hit 40 of 88 (45.5%) field goal attempts in Houston. 20 of those buckets were 3-point baskets.
  • SAC worked the free throw line in this game. The went to the line 22 times and put the ball through the hole 19 times.
  • The Kings kept the turnovers to a minimum again making just 10 giveaways that resulted in 13 Houston points.
  • Both coaches used just eight players in the contest.
  • The Kings bench outscored the Rockets second unit 27-23.
  • Cory Joseph must be given credit for the incredible job he did on defense. He spent most of the game guarding “The Beard”. Joseph put up 14 points and added six assists while guarding Harden.

Up next

The Kings return to action on Wednesday night when they will host the OKC Thunder at the Golden 1 Center.

The Rockets head out to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

It’s heartbreak deep in the heart of Texas for the Kings losing in OT to the Spurs 105-104

spurs 2
Graphic: @NBC Sports CA

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings played game two of their four-game road trip on Friday night in San Antonio. The Kings lost game one on Wednesday night in Portland. It took 53 minutes to decide the winner of game two in the “Alamo City”, but when the final buzzer sounded, the Spurs had won the game 105-104 in overtime.

The Kings have now lost five of their last six games and have fallen five games under .500 with a record of 8-13. Not only are the men of SAC headed in the wrong direction in the standings but their immediate future prospects are not great. Their final two games of this road trip are with the Dallas Mavericks (15-5) and the Houston Rockets (14-7) – two of the hottest teams in the NBA.

When the Kings left on this road trip, we projected that they would win one game and lose three. We expected the one win to happen in Portland or San Antonio. Now that Sacramento has lost to both the Trail Blazers and the Spurs, our projection has changed to the team finishing the road trip 0-4. That would put the Kings nine games under .500 by the time they return to Sacramento.

The Kings could have won this game
The game was tied at 89-89 with 3:44 to go in the game. The Kings went on a 9-0 run to take what looked like a commanding lead with just 1:43 remaining in the contest, but this is the NBA and you can never assume anything.

The Spurs scored eight unanswered points in less than a minute. The Kings were stunned. San Antonio possessed the ball with 14.3 seconds to go in regulation time. The Spurs worked the ball to Marco Belinelli with 4.1 seconds on the clock. Belinelli let a 3-pointer fly from the right angle and put it through the hoop to tie the game at 100 apiece and force OT.

Overtime was not pretty
The first point in OT wasn’t scored until the 3:07 mark when DeMar DeRozan hit the first of three free throw attempts. There would be only a total of nine points scored in the entire five minutes of overtime. It was just plain ugly.

The Kings wound up with the final possession of the game when it was ruled that Spurs last touched the ball that went out of bounds after a jump ball.

Sacramento did their best putting up four shots in the final 17.4 seconds to try and take the lead. They fought ferociously to get rebounds to have the opportunity to take another shot but none of their four final attempts would fall. When time expired, the Spurs had won the game 105-104.

Leading scorers

  • Buddy Hield scored a game-high 23 points for the Kings.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge led Spurs scoring attack with 19 points.

The Glass Cleaners

  • Richaun Holmes pulled down 14 rebounds to go with 13 points for a double-double game.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge also had a double-double by grabbing 13 rebounds to go with his 19 points.

Tossing out the dimes

  • The Spurs DeMar DeRozan dropped nine dimes in the game.
  • Harrison Barnes – who also scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds – distributed 5 assists.

Think about it

  • The Kings starters scored 69 points while their second unit added 35 points.
  • The Spurs starting five scored 52 points and their bench put 53 points. That’s called depth.

Up next

The Kings will have Saturday off and will play the Mavericks in Dallas on Sunday.

The Spurs go on vacation as they are off until next Thursday when they will host Cleveland.

Kings suffer frustrating loss to the Bulls, 113-106, when their comeback falls short

By Morris Phillips

SACRAMENTO–The rope-a-dope strategy employed by the Kings that shocked the Nuggets on Saturday didn’t translate on Monday against the visiting Chicago Bulls.

The Kings again spotted their opponent a sizeable lead, but this time the comeback fell short. Behind 28 points from Laurie Markkanen, and 20 from Zach LaVine, the Bulls survived Sacramento’s fourth quarter rally to win 113-106.

The Kings failed to climb within one game of .500, falling to 8-11 on the season. The loss also dropped the Kings a game behind the Suns–who won in Charlotte Monday–for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Kings had won 8 of 13 coming in, including their unquestioned best win of the season to date over the Northwest Division-leading Nuggets, in which they trailed by 17 at the half, only to rally for an overtime win, 100-97. Against the Bulls, the Kings trailed by 11 at the half, and 10 after three, but could get no closer than 102-100 with 2:18 remaining.

Buddy Hield led the Kings with 26 points, despite missing 10 of his 13 3-point attempts. Afterwards, he pointed to the Kings’ slow start as the reason for the loss.

“When you give a team confidence, they come back and bite you quick,” Hield said of the Bulls, who had lost both of their previous stops on their current road trip, and seven of nine.

After a fast start, things unraveled for the Kings in the second quarter, when the Bulls surged to a double-digit lead behind their five reserves that saw action.

Rookie Coby White, Ryan Arcidiacono, Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine each hit a 3-pointer, and along with center Daniel Gafford combined to shoot 8 for 15 from the field. Meanwhile, the Kings’ reserves committed seven turnovers as the home team fell behind by as much as 16 points, 47-31 with 3:20 remaining before the break.

Hield and Harrison Barnes combined to miss 11 of their 15 shots attempts in the first half, as Sacramento was again without Marvin Bagley III, De’Aaron Fox and Harry Giles.

Bogdan Bodanovic, the Kings’ spark off the bench, admitted afterwards that his balky, left hamstring has forced coach Luke Walton to put him on a minutes restriction where he’s limited to five minutes on the floor in any stretch. Since missing the Kings’ road game in Brooklyn on November 22, Bogdanovic has logged fewer than 30 minutes a game, and failed to make at least half of his shots from the floor. On Monday, Bogdanovic finished with 11 points, on 4 of 9 shooting.

For the Bulls, the win marked the first time this season their two, young stars, LaVine and Markkanen have each reached 20 points in a game.

“We’re still encouraging him,” LaVine said of Markkanen. “He had a great game. He needs to play that way all the time.”

The Kings start a four-game road trip in Portland on Wednesday with stops in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston after that. The Kings are in the midst of a stretch where they play 12 of 16 games outside of Sacramento.