Game 48: Chicago Bulls (27-21) defeat Sacramento Kings (21-28), 107-102
February 3, 2016
Sleep Train Arena – Sacramento, California
Jimmy Butler missed his first game of the season with left knee tendinitis, but it turns out the Bulls managed fine without him — at least for Wednesday night’s game.
The Bulls got off to a great start: E’Twaun Moore had the hot hand with 13 points to lead the Bulls to a 34-point first quarter that bested the Kings’ 25 points. The Bulls in general, however, were on fire from behind the 3-point arc.
Pau Gasol, Moore and Tony Snell combined for six 3-pointers in the first quarter. Then, in the second quarter, Doug McDermott kept the fire going by opening the second quarter with a 3-pointer of his own. The Bulls died down from downtown after that, though, as Kirk Hinrich was the only other Bull to make a three that quarter. With the Bulls cooling down, the Kings had a chance to get back into the game, and they did just that.
The Kings went on a 18-11 run to cut the Bulls’ lead to four, but they went on a shooting slump right afterward. So the Bulls took advantage, going on a 6-0 run of their own to retrieve their double-digit lead. The Kings weren’t going anywhere, though, and Marco Belinelli hit two 3-pointers to cut the Bulls’ lead, 60-57, heading into halftime.
Both teams had their worst quarters, in terms of scoring, coming out of halftime. The Bulls put up 20 points, and most of those points came from two players: Taj Gibson and Moore with seven points apiece. On the other hand, the Kings scored 18 points in the quarter, so they couldn’t quite capitalize on their previous momentum.
The Bulls temporarily heated up from behind the 3-point line again to begin the fourth quarter with threes from McDermott and Aaron Brooks. It was a pretty evenly matched period yet again — the Bulls and Kings each had 27 points in the quarter — but the Bulls were able to hold off the Kings despite holding a three-point lead with 45 seconds left in the matchup.
Player of the Game
Moore may not be as talented as Butler, but he certainly filled in his shoes well against the Kings.
Moore posted a career-high 24 points on 9-for-16 from the field, 4-of-5 on threes and 2-of-4 shooting on free throws. The 24 points were a team-high as well and trailed only DeMarcus Cousins. He also added five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Derrick Rose had a superb game, nearing a double-double with 21 points and nine rebounds. He shot 6-of-15 from the field and got to the charity stripe often, 9-for-10 on free throws. The only real negative thing about Rose’s performance Wednesday night was his game-high seven turnovers.
DeMarcus Cousins also had a great game with a game-high 30 points on 12-for-25 from the field in 37 minutes. He also grabbed 11 boards to post one of two double-doubles in the game.
The Bulls shot over 50 percent on threes and made five more 3-pointers than the Kings did. Moore led with four 3-pointers, and McDermott followed with 2-of-6.
It’s a good thing the Bulls were feeling it from downtown because the Kings outscored them in the paint by double figures.
The Bulls take on the Denver Nuggets on Friday night at 8 p.m. central.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.