SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- While the Chicago Bulls went from
unstoppable to embarrassing and back again, the Sacramento Kings
remained calm and consistent.
his season-high 18 in the decisive second quarter of the Kings'
fifth straight victory, 110-99 over the Bulls on Sunday night.
The Bulls seemed to have a front-row seat in a roller coaster,
sandwiching two of their worst quarters of the season between their
two best. Chicago scored 38 points in the first and 36 in the
fourth -- and just 25 in the middle two when Sacramento built an
insurmountable lead in Chicago's fifth straight loss.
When the Bulls were clicking, they seemed capable of pushing
Sacramento out of the league scoring lead in one night. But
Sacramento matched Chicago's proficiency -- and the Kings kept it up
"Wow. I haven't seen that since AAU ball," Sacramento center
Brad Miller said. "The way those guys were hitting those 3's, the
way they moved the ball, the way they pump-faked and got a good
shot. They were scoring from everywhere on the court."
Bobby Jackson had 16 points and six rebounds for the Kings, who
easily survived two prolonged defensive lapses in their ninth
consecutive win over Chicago and their 14th straight home victory.
The Bulls made 11 straight shots in the final minutes of a
high-scoring first quarter, but Peeler made four 3-pointers in the
second as Sacramento steadily pulled away.
"It isn't as hard when they're wide open," Peeler said. "When
you're feeling like that, all you can say is, 'Give me the ball.'
Everybody was finding me, and it was great to finally start getting
on a roll in this arena."
Six players scored in double figures for the Kings, who took a
32-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Bulls' starters scored
15 straight points against Sacramento's reserves, but Chicago still
fell well short.
"They're the type of team that can run hot and cold,"
Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "There were a couple of times
when they were making every shot. We just said, 'We've got to stay
close to them.' Once they started missing shots and we got a little
bit more pressure on shots, it started turning around."
Jamal Crawford scored 16 of his 19 points after halftime for the
Bulls. Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Eddy
Curry had 18 points.
Mike Bibby had 12 points and seven assists for Sacramento, which
set a franchise record with 12 3-pointers in the first half. Most
of them were wide open, thanks to the Kings' signature ball
movement and the Bulls' stationary defense.
"They hit shots with hands in their face, people in their face,
feet in their face," Chandler said. "They made a lot of tough
shots. They're the best passing team, and tough to defend."
In the final four minutes of the first quarter, the Bulls scored
19 points and turned a 27-19 deficit into a 38-34 lead with their
most prolific quarter of the season.
Normalcy quickly returned as the Kings rolled to a 69-49
halftime lead with a 28-7 run. It took the Bulls until early in the
fourth quarter to score their next 38 points.
"They made a lot of shots from long distance," said Chicago
coach Bill Cartwright, whose job security is rumored to be tenuous.
"That was tough to overcome."
Sacramento has won 23 straight against Eastern Conference teams
at home. The Kings also have won the first two games of an
eight-game homestand at Arco Arena, where they have the NBA's best
home record over the last four seasons.
Scottie Pippen got his second straight start at point guard for
the Bulls, but Miller had more assists (seven) than Pippen (three).
Jalen Rose, the subject of numerous trade rumors, had nine points
in 26 minutes.Game notes
The Kings will retire Mitch Richmond's jersey in a ceremony
Dec. 5. Richmond, the first star of the franchise's Sacramento era,
led the Kings in scoring for seven straight seasons before he was
traded for Chris Webber. ... Sacramento had just one 3-pointer
after halftime, falling short of the 1989 franchise record of 16.
... Two days after recording his first career triple-double, Miller
had 10 rebounds, seven assists and five points on 2-for-9 shooting.
... Curry had his ninth straight game in double figures.
- Joe DeRosa
- Bill Spooner
- Troy Raymond