The Sacramento Kings got their second win in the month of December and their third win overall when they defeated the Chicago Bulls 110-101 on Sunday afternoon. The victory moved the Kings to four games above .500 at 13-9 on the season and the home win gives them an early season home record of 8-4.
Despite a 41-point outburst from Bulls guard Zach LaVine on the evening, the Kings were able to weather the storm and hold off their eastern conference opponents. At one point the Kings led by as much as 18, but ultimately only won the game by nine.
Their 13th win came in a different form than most of the previous 12 victories. Instead of relying on their potent offense to get the victory, the Kings were able to lock in defensively and get the stops they needed to secure the W.
The fourth quarter was about getting stops instead of being about scoring every time down the floor. While the usual offensive output is a joy to watch, defense is going to be crucial for Sacramento to keep their current pace up as the season progresses. Locking in and getting the win in this kind of game was huge and could go a long way in the Kings becoming a more formidable team defensively.
Stud from Sacramento Kings Victory over the Bulls: Malik Monk
Don’t look now, but Malik Monk is leading the Kings in scoring over the team’s last five games. While that is a small sample size and his per-game number is coming in at a solid but not eye-popping 18.4 points per game, it is still noteworthy.
Against the Bulls, Monk was at it again by pacing the Kings in the scoring department. he scored 20 points in 24 minutes of action and once again brought the energy the team needed off the bench.
Monk was efficient from the field, shooting 50 percent on 16 shot attempts. He also did his usual playmaking for the second unit, leading to a five-assist performance. It’s no surprise he had a team high +/- on the evening, finishing the night +/- +10. A nice number to finish at when you consider the Kings won the game by 9 points.
Monk was a key part of closing the game out, as well. He put up seven points in the final quarter of the game which led the Kings. Only LaVine outscored him that quarter with nine of his own.
Stud from Sacramento Kings Victory over the Bulls: Domantas Sabonis
The big man is playing very well recently and he has been a crucial part of what the Kings have been doing offensively. Sabonis is relied upon heavily to carry the load for this group on the glass and he did exactly that on Sunday against the Bulls.
He led the team on the glass with an eye-popping 17 rebounds. No other Kings player had more than seven rebounds in the game.
Not only that, but Sabonis finished with a triple-double. Once again he was able to show off his versatile skillset on the offensive end of the floor. When the Kings are in the halfcourt, Sabonis is crucial to their success in finding good looks at the rim. That was no different in this one as he finished with 10 assists to go along with his 17 rebounds and 11 points.