Bulls don’t quit, but Kings still win, 117-114

Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (9) and Patrick Williams (44) defending against Sacramento Kings’ guard Malik Monk (0) on a first-half drive Wednesday night at the United Center.

Charles Rex Arbogast, AP Photos

With the Bulls struggling for a play-in playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with 15 games to go, the Sacramento Kings were a painful sight for Bulls fans. 

The Kings under first-year coach Mike Brown have taken the next step the Bulls were looking for this season — actually a giant leap. The Kings, who were 30-52 last season, entered Wednesday night’s game against the Bulls at 40-27 — leading the Pacific Division and third in the Western Conference. 

And they did it without a major free agent addition or lottery pick bonanza. Their biggest addition was a nifty trade with the Hawks for Kevin Huerter, whose 40.7% three-point shooting has helped turn the Kings into an offensive juggernaut. The Kings lead the NBA in offensive rating (118.7 points per 100 possessions). They were 24th last season (109.6). 

The Bulls, meanwhile, came into Wednesday night’s game on the outside looking in for the final play-in spot (11th place) and looking to build on yet another modest win streak after road victories over the Nuggets and Rockets. 

The Bulls went toe-to-toe with the Kings from start to finish before the Kings escaped with a 117-114 loss at the United Center. The loss dropped the Bulls (31-37) a half game behind the Wizards (32-37) for the 10th and final playoff spot in the East. 

With the Bulls trailing 114-110 with 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter, DeMar DeRozan hit a three-pointer from thje top …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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