Kings

Instant Replay: Kings' epic comeback attempt falls short in loss to Bulls

Instant Replay: Kings' epic comeback attempt falls short in loss to Bulls

BOX SCORE

It’s an old story in Sacramento. Fall behind big early. Fight to get back in the game. Stumble down the stretch. We’ve seen it time and time again like a tape put on loop.

The formula played out again Monday night at Golden 1 Center. Fresh off a tremendous victory over the Golden State Warriors, the Kings came out flat against the Chicago Bulls and trailed by as many as 27. They recovered late, tying the game in the final minute, but the damage was done as they fell by a final of 112-107.

Future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade abused the Kings’ guards, turning back the clock for 31 points on 12-for-18 shooting. Arron Afflalo will see Wade’s fallaway jumper in his nightmares when his head hits the pillow after this one.

Michael Carter-Williams came up huge for Chicago. The fourth-year vet scored all 15 of his 21 points in the first half as the Bulls built their big lead.

Robin Lopez added 17 points and six rebounds. Taj Gibson chipped in 13 points before fouling out late and Jerian Grant dropped in 13 points as the Bulls improved to 26-26 on the season.

Ty Lawson added a much needed spark for the Kings. The pint-sized point guard attacked the Bulls and set up his teammates. He finished the night with 22 points and seven assists, but his impact went well beyond the numbers.

Demarcus Cousins dropped 42 points and 14 rebounds the last time these two teams met. No such luck on Monday night. Sacramento’s All-Star big struggled to get his footing, scoring just 18 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. He picked up his second technical of the night in the waning moments of the game, giving him on the season.

Matt Barnes scored 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists off Dave Joerger’s bench.

Darren Collison added 14 points and five assists, while Kosta Koufos finished with 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Wade was spectacular in his 27 minutes of action. He may not be the say player he once was, but he can still hit the fallaway jumper and come up with the clutch basket.

TURNING POINT

This game looked was over in the first quarter. Sacramento made a late run, but Wade knocked down a  jumper late to give the Bulls a lead late. His steal on the inbounds sealed the deal.

INJURY UPDATE

Garrett Temple (torn left hamstring) and Omri Casspi (right a plantaris tendon strain) are both out until after the All-Star break. Rudy Gay is out for the season with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings continue their six-game homestand Wednesday when Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics roll into town.

Kings Under Review: De'Aaron Fox leads comeback over dysfunctional Bulls

Kings Under Review: De'Aaron Fox leads comeback over dysfunctional Bulls

The Kings did exactly what they needed to do on their road trip against primarily cellar-dwelling teams - win three out of four and return home over .500 on the season. But for 24 minutes, it looked like Sacramento might not be so lucky.

The dysfunctional Chicago Bulls (6-22) gave the Kings all they could handle early, but the visiting squad came out with a different mindset in the third quarter. With a dominant performance in the second half, the Kings pulled away for a 108-89 victory.

Sacramento currently stands at 14-12 on the season with the win. Here are a few positives and negative from the game:

NEGATIVE

First half blues

Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox struggled in the first half. Fox missed all five of his shot attempts and posted just two assists before the break. Hield hit a late 3-pointer to get on the board after missing his first five attempts.

The Kings won't normally be able to afford either of their top two scorers to have an off night, let alone both of them. The Bulls led by as many as 14 in the second quarter and took an 11 point lead into the intermission. But then they let Sacramento off the hook.

A better team could have put the Kings away early while Fox and Hield were adjusting their energy levels. 

POSITIVE

Fox steals the show

After looking out of sorts early, Fox broke out in the third quarter. It started on the defensive end with a pair of steals, but once the 20-year-old got going on the offensive end, the Bulls had no answer.

Fox dropped 16 points in the period, hitting 3-of-4 from behind the arc and single handedly changing the entire pace and tempo of the game.

When Fox is hitting from the perimeter, he's tough to stop. When he's playing elite defense, he's impossible.

NEGATIVE/POSITIVE

Bagley vs. Carter

The battle of the rookie bigs was fun to watch. Marvin Bagley (#2 pick) and Wendell Carter Jr. (#7 pick) teamed up last season at Duke and faced off on Monday for the first time in their young NBA careers.

Bagley scored 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, showing his high-end potential as an offensive weapon. Carter dropped in eight points and eight rebounds, while his team lost by 19.

Although Bagley came away with the stat line and the win, he also posted a second straight sub-par rebounding night, which is why he makes both the positive and the negative list.

Since returning from a back injury three games ago, Bagley has grabbed a total of five rebounds. That's a concern.

POSITIVE

Impacting the game

Willie Cauley-Stein isn't consistently scoring or consistently rebounding, but he is consistently producing for the Kings.

Against the Bulls, he hit the glass for a season-high 16 rebounds to go with 11 points, three assists and three steals.

The double-double was the ninth of the season for the Kings' starting center. He had a total of 12 double-doubles in 73 games played last season.

Cauley-Stein isn't perfect, but he's seems to be figuring out what his team needs on a nightly basis. He's active on both ends of the court and he's making an impact.

Willie Cauley-Stein sees Kings culture change: 'It's a brotherhood'

Willie Cauley-Stein sees Kings culture change: 'It's a brotherhood'

You can see it when you watch these Sacramento Kings. They play with joy and energy. They play for the one common goal of winning games, not for one individual player's stats.

Fourth-year center Willie Cauley-Stein has been there for some bad moments, and now he's seeing something completely different.

"We're a ballclub now. We're linked. We're together," Cauley-Stein said Monday, according to The Sacramento Bee. "Regular teams be on some regular s***, but we ain't regulars. We're a club. It's a brotherhood."

The Kings just wrapped up a 3-1 road trip with a 108-89 win over the dysfunctional Bulls. Sacramento has a 14-12 record and sits half a game behind the Dallas Mavericks for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff picture.

The next step for this "brotherhood" is to keep this strong play going and make a push for a playoff spot.