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  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Tyreke Evans flexes his muscles after scoring and getting fouled as the Bulls' Joakim Noah (13) walks past. Evans made 11 of 13 shots and finished with 26 points.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Patrick Patterson has a chat with Kings coach Keith Smart, who started him because of DeMarcus Cousins' injury.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins enjoy the action on the court as the Kings took command.

Minus an injured Cousins, Kings rout Bulls

Published: Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 - 12:27 pm

The Kings rarely hear this from the opposition after a game:

"They just kicked our (butt)," Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson said. "Period. Simple, point blank. That was a good old-fashioned (butt) whoopin'."

That it was.

The Kings had their way in their most lopsided win of the season, a 121-79 rout of the Bulls on Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.

The 42-point victory margin surpassed the previous high of 36 points (119-83) against the Charlotte Bobcats on March 3. It also was the Kings' most lopsided victory since Jan. 2, 1993, when they dominated the Philadelphia 76ers 154-98.

The Kings ended a five-game losing streak to the Bulls, who suffered their worst defeat this season. Chicago had lost by 32 (128-96) to the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 7.

Sacramento also posted its most one-sided victory over Chicago, topping a 39-point win (119-80) on Feb. 8, 2000.

The Kings played without leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins (left quadriceps contusion). But it didn't matter as they led by as many as 45 points – their biggest advantage of the season.

"We couldn't stop them," Robinson said. "It starts with our defense. We just couldn't stop them. No matter what they did. No matter what shot they put up, (it seemed like) they made. It felt like they didn't miss the whole game. It felt like that was the first team in NBA history to go 100 percent."

Tyreke Evans almost had a perfect shooting night. He missed only twice in 13 attempts and finished with 26 points, seven assists, five rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.

In the first quarter, the Kings scored 34 points, the most allowed by the Bulls in the first quarter this season.

At halftime, the Kings had a season-low one turnover and led 65-36.

Evans said the big lead and final result weren't surprising to the Kings.

"I think it started from practice," Evans said. "We prepared well for them, and I knew how to come out and be aggressive."

The Kings (23-43) committed a season-low five turnovers while allowing a season low in points. They also forced 17 turnovers and held the Bulls (35-29) to 38.6 percent shooting.

"Since I've been a Sacramento King, this is probably the best game we've played," second-year guard Isaiah Thomas said. "We just played together, made shots, stayed in attack mode and played defense."

The game was the latest example of the Kings looking good minus a key player. They played some of their best basketball in January while Evans was out with a knee injury.

This was the first game Cousins missed this season that wasn't for disciplinary reasons. The Kings are 2-4 without him.

The Kings shot 54.2 percent and outrebounded the Bulls 40-39.

"These guys showed that when they play as a unit – and I've said this many times during this season – when they play like that, they're pretty hard to beat," Kings coach Keith Smart said.

Smart, however, was not about to get into a discussion about whether the Kings were a better team without Cousins.

"We're going to enjoy this game here (Wednesday night)," Smart said. "The guys did a fantastic job, and we will handle the next game and deal with the issues of the next game. For tonight, we're going to say all those guys dressed in Sacramento uniforms played a great game tonight."

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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