(Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel – Getty Images)
Game 44: Chicago Bulls (22-23) defeat Sacramento Kings (16-27), 102-99
Jan. 21, 2017
United Center – Chicago
The Bulls opened the game on a very efficient note, going 9-for-18 from the field in the first quarter. The Kings were less efficient at 9-for-23 from the field. That was still well enough to keep the game close, as the Bulls were only up three, 24-21 at the end of the first.
Chicago started the second quarter with an 8-2 run: First, Cristiano Felicio scored a bucket, and then Paul Zipser and Doug McDermott each made a 3-pointer. nine-point lead (32-23) This string of shots gave the Bulls the 32-23 lead. But, soon after, they found themselves in a scoring drought that lasted over two minutes. The lack of scoring allowed the Kings to get back into the game, led by Ty Lawson‘s six points, and eventually take a two-point lead.
For the remainder of the first half, the game was very back-and-forth, but Butler gave Chicago some momentum by drawing a foul from Garrett Temple on a right-wing three attempt with a second left in the quarter. He went on to make all three free throws to take the 55-52 halftime lead.
DeMarcus Cousins got going in the third quarter, scoring 10 points by the 5:39 mark of the period to help give the Kings a 70-63 lead. Meanwhile, the Bulls were stuck at 63 for about two and a half minutes. But Zipser ended the drought with a 3-pointer. Luckily for Chicago, Sacramento hadn’t got out too far ahead, so it was only down four points after Zipser’s shot.
The Zipser bucket got the Bulls going, and he later went on to make a pair of free throws after grabbing an offensive board to cut deficit to two. Another Mirotic bucket tied the game at 73, and Butler followed with a layup for a 75-73 Bulls lead that would carry on into fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was more of the same, as neither team could make a run for a decisive lead. So the game came down to the final seconds.
Wade stole the ball from Cousins and dished it to Michael Carter-Williams, who slammed the ball home as a game-winner. After Carter-Williams’ dunk, the Bulls led 102-99, but 2.7 seconds still remained on the clock. This gave Sacramento one final chance to win the game, but Garrett Temple couldn’t connect on a 41-foot 3-pointer.
Player of the Game
Dwyane Wade was the team’s leading scorer with 30 points, besting Butler’s 23, while shooting a very respectable 9-for-20 from the field. He also added six rebounds, four assists, three steals and four blocks in his 35 minutes of playing time — not to mention him stripping the ball from Cousins as part of the game-winning play.
Despite losing, DeMarcus Cousins had a monster game, scoring a game-high 42 points, and added 14 rebounds to post a double-double.
Paul Zipser scored in double figures for a second straight game. He led the bench with a career-high 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting overall and 3-for-6 on 3-pointers.
The Bulls continue to prove their talent at getting to the charity stripe — or maybe it’s just Jimmy Butler. In any case, the team’s 33 total free throw attempts, 10 of which came from Butler and 15 from Dwyane Wade, bested the Kings’ 21 attempts. Not only that, but Chicago made 28 of their free throws — more than Sacramento’s attempts.
Despite DeMarcus Cousins’ game-high 14 rebounds, the Bulls still beat the Kings in the battle of the board, grabbing eight more than the visitors. Chicago had 14 offensive rebounds — the same overall rebound total Cousins had — which also beat out Sacramento’s nine offensive rebounds.
The Kings had a more efficient time scoring Saturday night than the Bulls did. Sacramento shot 44 percent on 37-of-84 from the field, and Chicago was 41 percent on 34-of-83. But the Bulls’ free throw advantage made up for this.
The Bulls travel to Florida to play the Orlando Magic on Tuesday evening.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.