SACRAMENTO -- This Sacramento Kings team is almost impossible to figure out. Needing a win before heading out on a four-game road trip, the Kings stumbled again on Wednesday night, falling 107-102 to a quality Chicago Bulls ball club.
With All-Star Jimmy Butler a late scratch, E’Twaun Moore took over the scoring load for the Bulls. He hurt the Kings in a variety of ways, including 4-for-5 night from long range on his way to a career-high 24 points. His pair of missed free-throws with just over 10 seconds remaining left the door open for Sacramento, but they couldn’t find the bottom of the net.
Derrick Rose broke down the Kings defense late, finishing the night with 21 points and nine assists. Pau Gasol battled DeMarcus Cousins all night long, fighting his way to a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Taj Gibson added 12 points and eight rebounds and Doug McDermott hit for 11 off the bench.
Cousins shook off a scary third-quarter knee injury to drop in a team-high 30 points. The Kings All-Star big man added 11 rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes of action.
The Kings have been waiting for Marco Belinelli to find his shooting stroke and on Wednesday night, it finally happened. Playing with the starting unit for just the third time this season, Belinelli dropped in 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting and 3-of-7 from behind the arc.
With Belinelli doing good work as a starter, Darren Collison took control of the second unit. In 29 minutes, the reserve guard scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
Rudy Gay took a little while to get it going, but he finished the night with 12 points before fouling out late and Omri Casspi added 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Kings had no answer for Moore. Sacramento tried to post him up with bigger players all night long and it didn’t work. On the offensive end, he ran circles around the Kings' bigger players.
Sacramento started the fourth slowly and the Bulls built a 10-point lead. The Kings fought back, but couldn’t find a way to win in the final minute.
Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Ben McLemore all suited up after starting the day questionable. Cousins went down in the early third quarter with an apparent injury to his right knee, but he continued to play.
The Kings hit the road for a four-game stretch leading into the All-Star break. They start in Brooklyn on Friday before hitting Boston, Cleveland and Philly over the next week.