Notebook: Bulls 93, Kings 87



Posted Nov 1, 2012 12:07 AM

By Kent McDill, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: With Kirk Hinrich starting in place of injured point guard Derrick Rose, the Bulls took control of the game at the start of the second half and held on for a 93-87 win over visiting Sacramento in the season-opener for both teams. Joakim Noah led the Bulls with 23 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, three assists and three blocks. Tyreke Evans had 21 points for the Kings.

THE FACTS II: The Kings' last lead of the game was at 22-20 late in the first quarter.

QUOTABLE I: "It's Halloween and he had a monster night."
- Bulls forward Carlos Boozer talking about teammate Joakim Noah.

THE STAT: The Bulls, one of the league's worst free throw teams last season, scored 25 points from the line, making 25 of 33. Sacramento went 13 for 16 from the line.

THE STAT II: The teams split 37 turnovers, 19 for the Kings and 18 for the Bulls.

THE STAT III: According to Basketball Reference, the last time an NBA player equaled all of Noah's numbers in the same game was Feb. 2, 2008 when Josh Smith of Atlanta had 28 points, 12 rebounds, five steals, three assists and three blocks.

TURNING POINT: Taking a four-point lead into the second half, the Bulls went on a 12-2 run to build a 14-point edge. The Kings spent the rest of the game trying to overcome that and got no closer than three points.

HOT: Evans was eight for 13 from the field and made all four free throws for Sacramento.

NOT: Hinrich was one for seven from the field for just three points in 29 minutes, but he did have a game-high seven assists; DeMarcus Cousins had seven turnovers and a technical foul to go with his 14 points and seven rebounds for Sacramento.

QUOTABLE II: "Most games are going to be like this. We have to find different ways to win."
-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

GOOD MOVE: Getting only 2:44 out of backup center Nazr Mohammed, Thibodeau played power forwards Boozer and Taj Gibson together most of the fourth quarter.

BAD MOVE: With 35.6 seconds remaining in the game and the Bulls up by four points, the Kings failed to get the ball inbounds following a timeout and turned the ball over.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Never throw away those old jerseys. With Hinrich back on the Bulls, a large number of Hinrich jerseys were seen in the United Center, and presumably many of them were purchased when Captain Kirk was on the team from 2003-2010.

ROOKIE WATCH: Thomas Robinson, selected fifth in the 2012 NBA draft out of Kansas, scored three points in seven minutes, with one rebound and two turnovers. Bulls first round draft pick Marquis Teague out of Kentucky did not play.

NOTABLE: Late reports said Bulls forward Taj Gibson agreed to a four-year, $38 million contract extension just minutes before the deadline that would have made him a restricted free agent at the end of the season... The Bulls have not had a losing record under coach Tom Thibodeau since the fifth game of the 2010-11 season, when they were 2-3... Sacramento guard Aaron Brooks lost a tooth in a battle for the ball with Hinrich with just over two minutes left in the game.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, at Cavaliers Friday, vs. Hornets Saturday, vs., Magic Tuesday. For the Kings, at Timberwolves Friday, at Pacers Saturday, vs. Warriors Monday.