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What we learned in Kings' hard-fought win over Bulls

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Marvin Bagley dunking

SACRAMENTO -- Running with the Bulls. 

In an entertaining 48 minutes of basketball, defense took the night off. The Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls took turns knocking down haymakers and in the end, it was the home team that was still standing.

After a miserable shooting night, Buddy Hield landed a long range 3-pointer and drew a foul with 38.3 seconds remaining. Chicago battled all the way to the finish, but the big bucket helped the Kings come away with the 128-124 win.

The Kings struggled to contain the backcourt pairing of Coby White and Zach Lavine throughout the game. The tandem combined to score 68 points, but it wasn’t enough for Chicago.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings snapped their three game losing streaks to move back to .500 on the season at 4-4. 

Fox out, Haliburton in

De’Aaron Fox came into the game with five 20 point scoring games in the Kings’ first seven contests. That trend did not continue against the Bulls after Fox pulled up lame with 7:25 remaining in the first quarter.

It’s too early to tell how long the Kings’ leading scorer might be out of action, but hamstring injuries can be tricky. 

With Fox out of action, Walton started rookie Tyrese Haliburton in the second half. 

After missing two games with a wrist injury, Haliburton managed to post a career-high 17 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter. He added seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in 35 minutes.

 

We won...we won, we won, we won

That is the chant that Doctors Lydecia and Richard Holmes post on social media every time their son Richaun and the Kings are victorious. This one had a little more oomf. 

Playing against his hometown Bulls, Holmes put on a show. In 30 minutes of action, he dominated Chicago down low, finishing with 24 points on 10-for-11 shooting to go with eight rebounds and five assists.

Holmes is playing some of the best basketball in his career early in the season for the Kings. This was his third 20-point outburst already this season and he’s one of the league leaders in field goal percentage.

In the Bag

The best way to quiet the naysayers? Play well.

After a wild week that included a few rough few games and a trade demand from his father, Marvin Bagley came out like a man possessed Wednesday against the Bulls.

Bagley opened the first quarter with nine points and seven rebounds and he notched his third double-double of the season before the teams could get into the locker room for halftime.

The third-year big finished the night with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting and added 12 rebounds. Bagley has the talent to be a very good player and Luke Walton has been patient in his development. He’s played just his 83 games in his career and needs more positive experiences like this.