CK Press Box: Sacramento Kings 121, Chicago Bulls 79
DeMarcus Cousins missed the second game of his career due to injury or illness Wednesday. But the Sacramento Kings played like they weren’t missing their man in the middle, easily disposing of the Chicago Bulls 121-79 at Sleep Train Arena tonight.
The Kings surprisingly outpaced one of the best defensive teams in the league, outscoring the Bulls 106-63 after Chicago took a 16-15 lead early in the first quarter. The Kings led by as many as 45 points, their largest lead of the season.
The Kings move to 23-43 overall and 17-15 at Sleep Train Arena. They have the next three days off before they head down south for their final trip of the season to Staples Center against the Los Angeles Lakers.
– Jonathan Santiago
Notes and Analysis
- Tyreke Evans was a star tonight against the Chicago Bulls, scoring a game-high 26-points on 11-for-13 shooting in 36 minutes of action. The 2010 Rookie of the Year added seven assists, five rebounds three steals and is now averaging 23.7 points per game over his last three contests on 66.7-percent shooting.
- It is always fun to watch Isaiah Thomas and Nate Robinson go at it and tonight was no different. The two undersized point guards from Seattle are close friends and do nothing but talk trash the entire game. Thomas won the battle and the war tonight, finishing with 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting and came away with the lopsided victory.
- Patrick Patterson set the tone early for the Kings in this one, scoring 11 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting and grabbing five rebounds in the game’s first 10 minutes. Smart used him sparingly the rest of the game, limiting Patterson to 14 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes of play.
- Jason Thompson got off to a rough start, playing just seven minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. He finished strong, scoring all 12 of his points in the second half while filling in for the injured DeMarcus Cousins.
- Cousins survived a possible suspension, but missed the game anyways with a left thigh contusion that he suffered in the Bucks game on Sunday. James Johnson continues to be away from the team while dealing with a personal issue.
- Chuck Hayes provided solid support off the bench, finishing with 10 points and eight rebounds off the Kings bench. Toney Douglas and Jimmer Fredette combined for another 19 points for the Kings second unit in the victory.
- The Bulls shot just 2-for-21 (9.5 percent) from behind the arc and 38.6 percent from the field in the loss.
- Stat of the Night: The Kings turned the ball over one time in the first half. They finished the game with a season-low five total turnovers.
Three answers to three questions pondered
1. Who wins the point guard battle between Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas?
The individual match-up between these two may have been close to even, but the outcome of the game wasn’t. Thomas scored 11 of his 22 points in the third and finished 8-of-14 from the field with just one turnover. Nate Robinson was efficient also, finishing as the Bulls’ second-leading scorer with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting. However, the veteran Bulls guard was at -23 in plus/minus while Thomas finished at +26 in the win.
2. Will the Kings let Joakim Noah dominate the glass?
For the first time in seven games, Noah failed to record at least 10 rebounds. The All-Star center finished just one shy of double-digits boards with nine on the night. Rebounding wasn’t a deciding factor in this game as the Bulls and Kings almost broke even in the statistical category. The Kings grabbed 40 boards in the win, while the Bulls snatched 39.
3. Will the Kings’ offense continue to roar against a stifling Bulls’ defense?
The offense roared and it roared loudly. By halftime, the Bulls allowed the Kings to score 65 points and shoot 58 percent from the field. The Kings’ 42-point win was their largest margin victory of the season, surpassing the 36-point blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats last week. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, tonight’s win is the largest margin of victory for Sacramento since Jan. 2, 1993, when the Kings defeated the 76ers 154-98 at Arco Arena.
– Jonathan Santiago
Quotes of the Game
Tyreke Evans on if tonight was surprising:
I think it started from practice. We prepared well for them and I knew how to come in and be aggressive. Patrick (Patterson) did a good job with spacing the floor and letting me get to the lane and create for others
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on what was most disappointing about tonight’s loss:
Just about everything. Our level of intensity is very poor. Our readiness to play, very poor. Probably most disappointed in myself. My job is to have them ready. We can’t come out like that. That’s on me. I didn’t like our intensity in the Lakers’ game and I didn’t like it tonight. I’ve got to drive harder and I will.
Bulls forward Carlos Boozer on the game:
Just the fact that we lost was embarrassing It’s hard to put in words. We just have to step up more. We got a lot of people out. When you have people out, everybody has to play a little bit harder, do a little bit more. We know that we’re capable of doing that because we’ve done it.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.