108 - 98 Final
  for this game

Bulls top Kings

Dec 30, 2011 - 7:03 AM Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Derrick Rose dropped 19 points and dished out eight assists, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 108-98 win over the Sacramento Kings at Power Balance Pavilion.

Carlos Boozer finished with a double-double on 16 points and 15 rebounds, while Richard Hamilton also had 16 points for the Bulls, who improved to 2-1 on the young season.

Luol Deng added 12 points and six rebounds, while Ronnie Brewer donated 12 points off the bench for Chicago.

Marcus Thornton netted a game-high 20 points and pulled down five boards for the Kings, and Tyreke Evans had 19 points.

DeMarcus Cousins finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Jimmer Fredette scored 14 off the bench for Sacramento, which has lost two straight since opening the season with a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.

Chicago came flying out of the gate, hitting seven of its first 10 shots to take a comfortable 19-5 lead with 5:19 to go in the opening quarter. A free throw by Evans finally snapped the run, but the Bulls built the lead up to 15, 26-11 with 3:10 left in the opening 12 minutes of play.

"The first five minutes of the game, we got out and got some easy baskets," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It was triggered off of our defense and that's the first priority, to get the defense established, and that gets us in the open floor and makes the game a lot easier."

Late in the quarter, though, Sacramento began to wake up, using a 9-0 run over the final 1:39 of the first quarter to pull within six, 30-24 heading into the second quarter of play.

A trey by Fredette trimmed the deficit to five, 34-29, with 9:51 to go before halftime, but Chicago quickly built its lead back to 15, using a 10-0 run to lead 44-29 with 7:40 left before halftime.

Sacramento continued to play tough and a three-pointer by Thornton with 27.9 seconds to go pulled the Kings within seven, 59-52. The Bulls led 60-53 at the break.

Chicago shot 56 percent from the floor and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc in the first half, while Sacramento shot 45 percent from the floor and 5-of-11 from three-point land. Rose led the Bulls after the opening 24 minutes with 11 points, while Thornton paced the Kings with 11 as well.

In the third quarter, the Kings kept it close, getting it to within one, 74-73 with 4:21 to play in the quarter, but they could never take the lead, as the Bulls closed out the third period on an 11-2 run to lead by 10, 85-75, heading into quarter number four.

In the fourth, a jumper by Brewer with two minutes gone gave the Bulls an 11- point lead, 90-79. They shot 43 percent in the final quarter and kept the Kings at bay for most of the quarter until Sacramento made it interesting late.

Trailing by nine, a dunk by J.J. Hickson with 2:07 to go cut the Kings deficit to seven. On the Bulls' next possession, Rose lost it out of bounds and the Kings had a chance to cut it to four with a three-pointer, but John Salmons' trey from the right corner with 1:21 to go clanged off the rim and was rebounded by Deng, sealing the win for the Bulls.

"The guys in our locker room have to decide to grow together during this incredibly difficult season that lies ahead," Kings head coach Paul Westphal said. "And then we'll see how good we can be."

Game Notes

Chicago has taken six of its last seven games against the Kings and four consecutive games in Sacramento...Hickson finished with seven points and eight rebounds...Bulls center Joakim Noah ended with nine points and four rebounds in 24 minutes of action...Chicago shot 54 percent from the floor and 6-of-12 from three-point range, while Sacramento shot 42 percent from the floor and 47 percent from beyond the arc...Chicago will face the new-look Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, while the Kings will play the Knicks on New Year's Eve.