Bulls fall to Kings, 107-106
Bulls now stand at 3-17, and face off against the Cavaliers on Monday.
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The Bulls Friday again couldn't finish off a chance to win in the last minute, losing 107-106 to the Sacramento Kings
Trailing by two points with three minutes left, the Bulls missed wildly on a pair of threes and a drive before the Kings got a Zach Randolph offensive rebound score for a 103-99 lead. The Kings maintained the edge from there to go to 7-15. The Bulls are 3-18 after their eighth consecutive loss. The Bulls got a three pointer from Jerian Grant at the buzzer to get back within one point.
Grant led the Bulls with 17 points. Paul Zipser, Lauri Markkanen and Robin Lopez each had 14 points. Cristiano Felicia had 12. Randolph had 25 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings. The Bulls had 55 points off the bench.
It was a difficult assignment for the Bulls against the Kings, playing in the second of a back to back set after landing in Chicago after 2 a.m from Thursday's painful last second one-point loss in Denver. It was the Bulls fourth second of a back to back this season, the Bulls losing all three and the last two by an average of 34.5 points per game. Bobby Portis was out with a sore right arm that had been bothering him in the Denver game. Nikola Mirotic and Zach LaVine were back from practicing with the Windy City Bulls. Mirotic should play by sometime next week. LaVine is still about a month away. The Bulls continued their slick offense, leading 31-29 after one and trailing 61-60 at the half. The Bulls seemed to be taking control late in that second quarter with a 57-48 lead before some sloppy play and the veteran savvy of Sacramento's Randolph and Vince Carter gave the Kings a 61-60 halftime lead. The Bulls got surprisingly good first half production from Zipser and Felicio, combining for 17 first half points to lead the team as both reached season highs in points in the game. They were a combined seven of nine shooting in the first half. Kris Dunn had seven assists and three first half steals, but the Bulls didn't have an answer for Randolph with 17 in the first half. The Bulls had an unusual eight players with at least five points in the first half and 17 assists on 24 baskets.
The Kings took off to start the third quarter, an early 8-0 run giving them a 73-66 lead and forcing the Bulls into that first quarter timeout. But the Bulls regrouped again with the bench, Felicio, Zipser and David Nwaba's hustle giving the Bulls a boost as the Bulls edged back into an 81-79 lead late in the quarter. The Kings added a three to lead 82-81 going into the fourth quarter. Zipser and Felicio got the Bulls off to a good start in the fourth quarter as the teams still continued to trade baskets. Midway through the fourth, the Kings held onto a 94-93 lead. It was the 21st least change in the game when Lopez scored to make it 95-94 Bulls. And then Randolph immediately got the lead back for Sacramento. The Bulls had multiple chances late but missed threes three times in five possessions while the Kings were creeping ahead 103-99 with just under a minute left.