CHICAGO (AP) – Buddy Hield scored 21 points, Harrison Barnes added 19 and the Sacramento Kings beat the Chicago Bulls 98-81 on Friday night to snap a six-game losing streak.

De’Aaron Fox had 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds as the Kings led virtually wire-to-wire.

Zach LaVine scored 21 for the Bulls, who had won four of seven. Chicago was 8 for 37 (21.6%) on 3-pointers.

The Bulls played without forward Lauri Markkanen, who will miss four to six weeks with a right hip injury. The 7-footer from Finland had an MRI on Thursday after experiencing soreness for about a week. He had played in all 46 games this season before Friday, averaging 15 points and 6.5 rebounds.

The Kings used a run of 11 straight points in the second quarter to snap a 33-all tie and take a 54-44 halftime lead.

The highlight of the first half was a sensational, above-the-rim block by Sacramento’s Harry Giles III on a dunk attempt by Shaquille Harrison.

Chicago opened the second half with a 12-2 run to tie the score at 56. Later in the third quarter, Denzel Valentine hit a runner in the lane to put the Bulls on top 69-68 – their first lead of the game.

The Kings, though, scored the final seven points of the period (two layups by Fox and a 3-pointer by Hield) to take a 75-69 edge into the fourth.

Sacramento’s lead was back up to 85-73 – matching its biggest to that point – on a basket by Bogdan Bogdanovic with seven minutes remaining. After taking the lead in the third, Chicago managed just four points in the next seven-plus minutes.

Bogdanovic put the game away with a five-point possession for a 92-75 lead with 4 1/2 minutes to go. First, he hit a pair of free throws after LaVine and Bulls coach Jim Boylen were assessed technical fouls. Bogdanovic then hit a 3-pointer.

TIP-INS

Kings: After starting the first 44 games of the season, Hield came off the bench. “We’ve had however many different starting lineups all season long, and it doesn’t matter,” coach Luke Walton said. “We’re a team, and we’re struggling to win games right now, so we’re looking to see if different groups give us a better chance of doing that. It’s not a punishment to Buddy at all because Buddy’s been great.”

Bulls: Markkanen joins a growing list of frontcourt players on the sidelines. Otto Porter Jr. (broken left foot) has been out since early November, Wendell Carter Jr. (sprained right ankle) likely will be out another month and rookie Daniel Gafford has missed the last five games with a dislocated right thumb. “When it rains it pours, with all of our big men going down,” said Thaddeus Young, who started in place of Markkanen at power forward.

PLAYING IT SAFE

Markkanen said he had no doubt he could play through the pain at its current level, but understood that doing so could make the injury – diagnosed as an early stress reaction – worse. “I really wanted to play, but at the same time I had to take a step back and think about what was smart,” he said.

UP NEXT

Kings: At Minnesota on Monday night.

Bulls: At Cleveland on Saturday night.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

 

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.

Comments

Leave a Reply