By Morris Phillips
SACRAMENTO–The crowd showed up, and the Kings showed out.
If any NBA team needs circumstances to be just right from available players, a representative start to the early evening sunset bestowing sufficient daylight within the Golden 1 Center, it’s the Kings.
On Monday, the circumstances were right and the Bulls were made to pay, in a 112-103 loss to the Kings.
Sacramento built a 20-point halftime lead by hitting 3’s and going near perfect from the free throw line, and held on, surviving a Bulls’ 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to break a four-game losing streak.
De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 34 points, six rebounds and six assists, capped by a pair of made free throws in the game’s final minute that increased Sacramento’s lead to 110-103 with 36 seconds left.
“De’Aaron is playing so well right now and he’s doing an extremely good job of controlling the game,” coach Alvin Gentry said. “Night in and night out what he is doing for us is amazing. He’s playing as well as anybody in the league if you go back over the last month or so.”
Domantas Sabonis returned from a two-game absence and added 22 points, seven rebounds while keeping Bulls center Nikola Vucevic to similar numbers (23 points, 10 rebounds). That virtual draw at the center spot allowed the Kings to fully benefit from off-shooting games from Demar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.
The dangerous backcourt duo for the Bulls shot 15 of 35 which dragged the visitors shooting from the floor to 41 percent. The Kings far more efficient shooting numbers–including 10 for 25 shooting from distance–spelled the difference in a game driven by each team’s surges offensively.
Bulls 12-0 run down 90-89 with 8:17 remaining after DeRozan FT’s.