Bulls comeback falls short against Kings
Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports

Bulls comeback falls short against Kings

by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO - There was some good news for the Chicago Bulls (23-27) and some bad news on Saturday. The Good, for the first time in 22 games, Torrey Craig was back in the lineup as he is expected to provide the Bulls with a nice boost off the bench. The Bad news is that Chicago will be without Zach Lavine for the rest of the season as he will undergo foot surgery and is expected to miss upwards of four to six months.

To make matters worse, that takes away any of his trade value this season, and it guarantees that he will be a part of this team entering next season and possibly beyond. Despite the news that LaVine will be done for the season, a game still needed to be played as the Bulls welcomed the Sacramento Kings (29-19) to the United Center. What looked like a blowout in the making saw the Bulls storm back in the second half, only to see their comeback effort fall short 123-115.

Since Mike Brown took over the Kings last season, you have started to see the potential in that team as they have been one of the better teams in the Western Conference. They showed how good they could be throughout the first half and into the second half as the Kings opened up a 32-25 lead in the first quarter before outscoring the Bulls 39-27 in the second quarter to take a massive 71-52 lead at the break.

Things only got worse from there as the Bulls had no answers for the Kings, and their offensive barrage Sacramento opened a 30-point lead early in the second half as the boobirds started to rain down on the home team. At that moment, the Bulls started to make a run as their defense put the clamps down in the third to outscore the Kings 29-20.

Then came the fourth, where the Coby White, Demar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic trio led the comeback bid to pull Chicago within three points of the Kings in the final minutes. Unfortunately, their comeback effort fell short as the Kings iced the game late to secure the win. Once again, it was the Coby White show for Chicago, but it wasn't until the fourth quarter that he started getting things rolling.

White finished with a team-high 26 points, but had double figures in the fourth to help spur the massive comeback attempt. White wasn't alone in having a big night, as DeRozan and Vucevic did what they had to do to keep things close. Vucevic was the go-to option for the Bulls in the second and part of the third quarters as he put forth a solid 24-point, 12-rebound showing.

The same can be said about DeRozan, who started to heat up in the third quarter before continuing into the fourth as he added 24 points for the Bulls. Since entering the starting lineup in place of Patrick Williams, Ayo Dosunmu has stepped up his game to a whole new level, and early on, he looked as if he was going to have a massive game. He opened the game with 10 quick points in the first quarter to jumpstart the Bulls offense, but was held to just eight points the rest of the way as he finished with 18 points.

That is excellent production from four players, but when Alex Caruso only gives you seven points and no one on the bench scores more than five, it doesn't bode well for a team trying to battle back as Craig led the bench with five points in the loss.

While the Bulls may have had more overall balance than the Kings did, De'Aaron Fox was a man on a mission, as the Bulls had no answers for him. Right from the opening tip, you could tell that Fox was about to have one of those games as he dropped a game-high 41 points in the win. He added four assists and picked up five steals in the win.

Fox may have been the only Kings starter with more than 20 points, but Sacramento still got solid production across the board. Malik Monk had the hot hand off the bench as he shot 50% from the field to finish with 22 points. He single-handedly outscored the Bulls' entire bench by himself. You also had Tre Lyles come through with 16 off the bench as those two combined for nearly 40 points to back the Kings starters in what was otherwise a quiet night for most of them.

Regarding the Kings starters, only Harrison Barnes and Domantas Sabonis had double-figure nights, but Sabonis was great. Sabonis added 13 points, with Barnes picking up 11, but the triple-double showing from Sabonis stands out as he continues to put up impressive games against this Bulls team.

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