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Keys To The Game: Bulls vs. Kings (2.16.22)

The Bulls look for their fifth straight win when they take on the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

The Kings made one of the biggest moves of the NBA trade deadline, swapping Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday and a 2nd round draft pick for Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson.

Sacramento is trying to move into the crowded Western Conference playoff race. De'Aaron Fox and Sabonis make a powerful offensive duo but the Kings' defense has been lackluster.

If the Bulls limit their turnovers as their usually do on Wednesday night, then their shot-makers (DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, etc.) should be able to sink the struggling Kings.

DeRozan will be going for an NBA record, trying to become the first player in league history to score at least 35 points on 50% shooting in seven straight games.

Keep DeMar DeRozan's hot streak going

DeMar DeRozan has scored at least 35 points in six straight games, a stretch in which the Bulls went 4-2.

DeRozan's scoring outbursts have come to be expected, but the remarkable efficiency with which he is doing it is what has become noteworthy. He has made a career out of being the rare guard/wing player who doesn't need 3-point attempts to boast a high scoring average in a 3-point crazy league.

The Bulls recent success has coincided with the best basketball of DeRozan's remarkable career and while it will take a lot to get this record, it is well within play.

Sacramento has the 29th ranked defense in the league, so with some patience and plenty of touches, we could be witnessing NBA history on Wednesday night.

Contain De'Aaron Fox

De'Aaron Fox's teams have struggled over the years but the Kings now look to make a postseason splash with the newly acquired Sabonis as Fox's running mate.

Fox, who is averaging 21 points per game on the season, is up to 26 PPG in games with Sabonis on the team. He is still a lightning, quick slasher who is a more than willing passer.

The Bulls will need to deny dribble-drive penetration to Fox, the lifeblood of his game.

Fox is shooting an elite 42% from 3-point range over his last 10 games but a paltry 26% on the season. Chicago's defense will benefit greatly from forcing Fox out of his comfort zone.

Put this team away early

This is more of a general key but one that is very much possible on Wednesday night. Sacramento is one of the worst road teams in the league at 7-20 while Chicago is one of the best home teams in the league at 22-8.

If the Bulls ride the emotion of the home crowd and build up an early lead, recent history says it will be tough for the Kings to mount any type of comeback.