By: Malaika Bobino
Sacramento, CA – This is the type of basketball that has been missed for years at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings played team ball and had fun at the same time. Without DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento once again proved they could win without the drama that comes along with the controversial player.
The Kings 121-79 victory over the Chicago Bulls was the best win this season. From start to finish the team played solid basketball with contributions from everybody. Leading by as much as 40 points in the second half, Sacramento surprised their own fans with such a dominate game.
“It’s embarrassing man,” said Carlos Boozer. “It’s hard to put into words.”
“Our level of intensity was very poor,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “But I’m most disappointed in me, it’s my job to have them ready. We can’t come out like that, that’s on me. I have to drive them harder and I will.”
The injuries have taken a toll on Chicago. Losing their star guard Derrick Rose who still contemplating a come back this season. Taj Gibson (left knee), Kirk Hinrich (right foot, day-to-day) and Richard Hamilton (lower back) are out. Suffering their second straight loss, the Bulls search for answers as the playoffs approaches. As for the Kings, the light is a lot brighter.
“We just opened the court up a little more (with Cousins out) and had our guards attack,” said Isaiah Thomas. “We were in attack mode from the jump. We know they’re a great defensive team and we just wanted to stay back in attack mode. I think Tyreke [Evans] started it off and that got me going a litle bit, then that got other people going.”
Evans had 18 points in the first half with Sacramento shooting 58 percent. Tyreke led all scores with 26 points on 11-for-13 shooting. Six players were in double figures and reminded me of days when the Kings were contenders. Thomas matched-up well against his close friend and mentor Nate Robinson scoring 22 points.
“I wasn’t surprised, I know we [are] able to do it,” Evans said. “We’ve just got to want it every night. We did a good job of being physical with them.”
Newly acquired Patrick Patterson came off the bench scoring 11 points and went 5-for-5 shooting. Sacramento dominated early and Chicago never caught up. Marco Belinelli shot blanks all night, missing nine shots from the field. Boozer had a team-high 21 points, while Robinson added 19.
“We’re not playing well offensively or defensively,” said Joakim Noah. “It’s no time to make excuses (about injuries). We need to find a way to bounce back. We just have to move on fast and get ready for Golden State (this Friday). They are a lot better team than this team (Kings).