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Bulls defeat Kings, record third straight victory

Bulls improve to 33-20 on the season

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By Sam Smith | 2.10.2015 | 9:27 p.m. CT

The Bulls rode dominant offensive performances from Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose and Tony Snell to a 104-86 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

The Bulls now head into their big Thursday national TNT game with the Cavaliers on a three-game winning streak and 33-20 record. The Bulls improved to 14-11 at home.

Gasol was brilliant shooting with 11 of 15 for 26 points and 16 rebounds, Gasol’s league’s best 13th consecutive double/double. Rose had 23 points, seven assists and zero turnovers in a good floor game while Snell scored a career high 24 points on nine of 11 shooting and was four of six on threes.

The Bulls led virtually from the start, taking an 11-point lead in the second quarter and then pulling away with a big start to the third quarter and 76-52 lead. The 18-33 Kings were led by Rudy Gay with 24 points.

The Bulls got some good news with the return of Mike Dunleavy after missing 19 games (Bulls 9-10) with a deep ankle bone bruise. The Bulls took control to open the third quarter, though with a bad news as well. Jimmy Butler had to leave with a shoulder strain, apparently aggravated from the shoulder injury in Sunday’s Orlando game. Snell replaced Butler to start the third and responded with a three and driving dunk to open the half that sent the Bulls on a 19-4 start to the third for a 23-point lead. Gasol kept up the blitz with outside jump shots as the Bulls led 84-64 after three.

Observations:

1. Tony Snell getting some time as a starter with Mike Dunleavy out hurt appears to have developed more confidence and wasn’t hesitating about shooting and had 13 first half points and three of three on three pointers. That gave him 10 of his last 16 threes to that juncture.

2. Derrick Rose had so many better—and really finally some—driving lanes with the return of Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell making three pointers. Rose has had to shoot so much from outside with the defense putting 10 feet in the paint with the Bulls having so few three-point threats.

3. Joakim Noah had one of the best defensive games against DeMarcus Cousins this season. Noah was penalized with some questionable calls, but in his time on Cousins the Kings All-Star center had one field goal.