Sacramento At Chicago
When: 9:00 PM
ET, Saturday, January 21, 2017
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Sacramento Kings dropped the opener of a long excursion and hope to rebound when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. The Kings fell for the ninth time in the past 11 games when they lost 107-91 to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first contest of an eight-game road trip.
Sacramento dropped to 10 games below .500 with its lengthy slide and coach Dave Joerger is trying to keep the team afloat during the long trip. "You just kind of go on tour," Joerger told reporters. "Play some games and go to the next place and play a game and 'where do I sleep tonight?' and 'what hotel room number have I got?' " Chicago is experiencing issues of its own with five losses in the past seven games and it trailed by 30 points after three quarters during Friday's 102-93 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks. "We got to start playing better from the jump — 48 minutes, man," Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler said afterward. "It's terrible basketball. That's not the way we're supposed to play. It's so disappointing because the way we practice isn't the way that we play in the game. Don't ask me why; I don't know."
TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN California (Sacramento), WGN (Chicago)
ABOUT THE KINGS (16-26): The loss to Memphis came in Sacramento's first contest since losing second-leading scorer Rudy Gay (18.7) to a season-ending ruptured Achilles' tendon. Gay declared that he will return "stronger than ever" while thanking players and fans on Twitter for their support. "I'm devastated that this injury will force me to sit out the rest of the season," Gay wrote. "And while I won't be able to contribute on the court, I will continue to support my team from the sidelines and behind the scenes as best I can."
ABOUT THE BULLS (21-23): Butler was peeved after Friday's game and shooting guard Dwyane Wade offered a public apology for the poor showing — "That performance was AWFUL!!! I apologize to all the Chicago fans and Wade fans," he tweeted. The Bulls were underachievers over the first half of the campaign and coach Fred Hoiberg raved about the team's focus earlier in the day before having much different thoughts after being easily handled by the Hawks. "We didn't make it difficult for them at all, not providing any resistance against them," Hoiberg told reporters. "We had eight turnovers in the first quarter and over 20 through three. You're not going to win any games playing like that."
1. The Bulls have won six straight home games in the series and eight of the past nine.
2. Wade matched his season low of four points and was 2-of-10 shooting in the loss to Atlanta.
3. Sacramento C DeMarcus Cousins scored 19 points against the Grizzlies after scoring 20 or more in 23 of the previous 26 games.
PREDICTION: Bulls 103, Kings 96
Stats and Records
Chicago Off vs
101.2 Points For
105.5 Points Against