The Kings overcame their worst scoring quarter of the season and being booed to rally from 21 points down and defeat the Chicago Bulls 104-98 on Monday night at Golden 1 Center.
The Kings trailed 28-9 at the end of the first quarter and left the court to boos – understandable, considering the Bulls started the game without two starters (Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen). Starting center Robin Lopez was ejected in the second quarter.
The Kings bounced back, outscoring the Bulls in every quarter the rest of the way to snap a two-game skid.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings (17-36) with 15 points. George Hill had 14 points and five assists, and Garrett Temple scored 12 points.
The Kings lost De’Aaron Fox in the third quarter to a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls (18-35) with 27 points. Bobby Portis had 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
The veteran support system
As the Kings rallied, it was Temple and Hill that helped bring them back.
Some would like to see the veterans play as little as possible. But they are still needed, as Monday showed.
With so many injuries to younger players, that will be the case at through the All-Star break.
What if everyone had Sampson’s energy?
The Kings looked lifeless to start the game. The glaring exception was JaKarr Sampson, who only seems to know how to play with endless energy.
The Kings have only had Sampson in small doses (10 games) this season because he’s on a two-way contract and spends most of his time in the G League with the Reno Bighorns.
But in his NBA appearances, Sampson always figures out a way to stand out with his effort. Too bad for the Kings he can’t pass along his energy to the entire team.
Sampson had nine points, six rebounds and a block in 18 minutes.
Bad night turns good
Through three quarters, Willie Cauley-Stein had more fouls (five) than points or rebounds.
But he made the most of his brief time in the fourth, with four points and three rebounds and an assist in five minutes.
It was good way to close for Cauley-Stein after spending most of the game as a spectator because of the fouls.