Kings overcome historically slow start, beat Bulls
OUTRUNNING THE BULLS
SACRAMENTO -- A bad start, an injury and a comeback. The Kings couldn’t score in the first quarter, setting a new season-low with just nine points in the game’s first 12 minutes, but they didn’t go away.
Led by a huge bench effort, Sacramento rallied from a 21-point first half deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls by a final of 104-98.
JaKarr Sampson brought the energy, George Hill provided a spark, Zach Randolph went to work in the post and Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic each hit big-time 3-balls to help the Kings escape an embarrassing loss on their home court.
STANDOUT PERFORMER I
Sampson is an NBA player. The Kings signed the athletic combo-forward to a two-way contract during the off-season and he has impressed almost every time he’s gotten a call up.
The energy he brings doesn’t show up in the box, but without him, the Kings might have lost by 30. He finished the night with nine points, six rebounds and a block in 18 minutes off the bench.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Hill turned into a playmaker. The veteran guard has taken a secondary role for Sacramento, this season for Sacramento, but with rookie De’Aaron Fox ailing, he went to work.
Hill dropped in 14 points, five assists and four rebounds as the Kings found a way to gut one out.
STANDOUT PERFORMER III
LaVine is getting healthy. In just his eleventh game back after a brutal knee injury last season, the high-flyer attacked the Kings, scoring 17 of his 27 points in the first half.
His dunk over JaKarr Sampson near the end of the first half was flat out nasty.
The final two minutes were a blur.
Hield started it all with a 3-pointer to give the Kings a lead. Bogdan Bogdanovic dropped in a triple over two defenders as the shot clock expired to push the lead to three and Willie Cauley-Stein finished it off with a crazy alley-oop dunk.
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De’Aaron Fox left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle. X-Rays were negative, but he did not return to the game. Skal Labissiere (left shoulder strain), Malachi Richardson (left ankle sprain) and Frank Mason (plantar fascia). Harry Giles (knee rehab) is out for the season.
The Kings don’t play again until Friday when the Portland Trail Blazers roll into Sacramento. Following the Blazers game, the Kings hit the road for a three game trip beginning in Minnesota with the Timberwolves followed by a Texas two-step against the Mavs and Rockets.