SACRAMENTO -- You could feel the relief walking into the Kings' locker room Sunday evening. After a brutal 1-3 road trip, the Kings needed some home cooking and a dysfunctional opponent to take their frustrations out on.
That is exactly what they found in the Chicago Bulls.
After a sluggish start in the first quarter, Sacramento pounded the Bulls, leading by as many as 37 points on their way to a 129-102 blowout victory. Five players scored in double-figures for the Kings and another three scored eight or more as they snapped their three-game losing streak and picked up their 21st home victory of the season.
Sacramento moved back to within one game of the .500 mark at 34-35. Here are the positives and the negatives from the win:
Marvin Bagley is healthy
You never know how a player is going to respond to an injury. Bagley is quickly showing that he has no ill effects from the knee sprain that cost him five games and he's ready to compete.
The rookie big attacked the Bulls with a variety of moves, but he's more than just a young player with an advanced offensive game. Bagley has a motor that won't stop and he continues to improve with every opportunity.
Against the Bulls, the 20-year-old dropped in 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and added nine rebounds in just 21 minutes of action.
Injuries have cost Bagley 19 games this season. He needs to work on his body in the offseason and extend his range, but this is a top-tier talent that is ready to explode on the scene as a sophomore.
Harry Giles has a streak
Giles has strung together double-figure scoring in six of the last nine games, but that's not the streak we are talking about. Despite his age, Giles can be down right mean and nasty, which is something the Sacramento Kings need.
He picked up his fourth technical of the season against Chicago for an exchange with Robin Lopez and the rookie big almost got tossed against the Celtics two games ago.
An energy player on your roster that doesn't mind mixing it up on occasion is a must and Giles is that guy.
Against the Bulls, he posted 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal. He's turning into a big time rotational player for Sacramento and looks like a future front court partner for Bagley.
Fox sets the table
De'Aaron Fox has taken a tremendous leap in his second NBA season. He looks like a star in the making and for Sacramento. He's become the player that sets the tempo of the game.
Chicago isn't the Celtics or the 76ers. They aren't even as good as the Wizards. But they are still an NBA team with plenty of talent.
Knowing his team needed a win, you could see Fox pushing the tempo on every possession and when the Bulls started to bend, the Kings' starting point guard helped put them away.
Fox walked into last summer with a long list of items he needed to improve on. He'll do the same this summer, but now the list is shorter and more specific.
The Kings don't usually get four positives, but when you steam roll a team and take care of business early, you receive praise.
This seems like an odd item to celebrate, but the Kings picked up their 34th victory of the season on Monday evening. This is the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Kings have reached the plateau.
Sacramento isn't where they want to be. They were hoping to be closer to the playoff pack down the stretch. But with 13 games remaining in the season, they have an opportunity to pick up plenty of more wins and possibly even make a run at the .500 mark for the first time since Rick Adelman stepped away following the 2005-06 season.
Progress should be celebrated.