Bulls hold off Kings in 102-99 thriller

Bulls overcome a big night from DeMarcus Cousins to get an important win

The Bulls were the royalty Saturday with a 102-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

It came with a brilliant game from Dwyane Wade with 30 points and a pair of game saving steals, the last on a late double team against DeMarcus Cousins, who had 42 points for Sacramento.

Jimmy Butler added 23 points and Paul Zipser 13 points off the bench. No other Kings player scored in double figures.

The Kings had a last chance with 14 seconds left, but Wade came in from behind, stripped the ball away from Cousins and Michael Carter-Williams made a closing dunk.

The Bulls moved to 22-23 while Sacramento fell to 16-27.

The Bulls came out looking to make amends for the poor effort in Atlanta Friday night with both teams playing the second of a back to back. The Bulls showed much more spirit and pace to start, the ball moving better, though the shots weren’t always falling. Still, it was a positive sign as the teams were tied at nine midway through the quarter as Wade had five points. Paul Zipser then was the first sub, in for Wade with Nikola Mirotic to follow. His three gave the Bulls a 17-13 lead. But it was Butler with a more aggressive first quarter than enabled the Bulls to lead 24-21 after one quarter. Butler had nine points to offset Cousins’ eight. The Bulls got a fast start to the second quarter with Rajon Rondo lobbing to Cristiano Felicio and finding Zipser cross court for a three.

Doug McDermott added one for a 32-23 Bulls lead. The Kings came back with a Ty Lawson four-point play after a steal and clear path foul, and then a turnover on the inbounds enabled the Kings to tie the game at 32 with 8:46 left in the second quarter. It became an 11-0 Kings run before the Bulls tied it with a Mirotic run out on a pass from Wade. The game see sawed after that with the teams exchanging leads and still tied at 46 with 2:36 left on the first half. The Bulls continued to move the ball better, getting 15 first half assists with Wade scoring 13 points. It enabled the Bulls to lead 55-52 at halftime. Butler had 12 points with three free throws on a last second attempt.

The Bulls had some success going to Taj Gibson to start the second half and then to Wade, which the Kings fought off with Cousins’ shooting and a pair of threes from Arron Afflalo as the Kings moved ahead 70-63 midway through the third quarter. Zipser with another three rallied the Bulls, who scored the last six points of the quarter to take a 75-73 lead going into the fourth quarter. Cousins had 28 points through three quarters with no other Kings player in double digit scoring. The Kings moved ahead on threes from Matt Barnes and Garrett Temple, taking an 82-77 lead with 8:28 left in the game as the Bulls missed four of their first five fourth quarter attempts. But with Wade and Butler taking turns on the attack against Cousins, the Bulls tied the game at 86 with 5:34 left in the game. The intensity grew from there as Cousins made back to back threes while Wade turned a steal into a put back and three-point play when a Butler fast break attempt was blocked. So with 1:28 remaining in the game, the teams were tied at 97. Cousins then hit a drive back after a Butler miss for the lead. Then Zipser had a big offensive rebound and Robin Lopez a tip in to tie the game at 99 with 36 seconds left.