for this game

Gordon, Bulls top hapless Kings

Jan 7, 2009 - 5:34 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon scored 24 points and rookie Derrick Rose added 16 and eight assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 99-94 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.

Drew Gooden returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a sprained right ankle and added 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Bulls, who went 33-of-36 from the free-throw line in snapping a three-game slide.

"I didn't really know if could go that far in the game, but it felt pretty good all night," Gooden said. "I thought we did a good job of working the ball into the basket in the second, and once we established ourselves in the paint, it made it easier for us."

Chicago's free-throw shooting made up for a poor effort from the field, as the team went 32-of-83 (39 percent) from the floor and 2-of-11 from beyond the arc.

"It was a beautiful win," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We did not shoot the well but we found a way to get it done."

"It shows you that stats are not everything," Gordon said of being out-shot. "We didn't shoot the ball well from the field but we did a great job of making the free throws."

The Kings shot 51 percent (36-of-71) from the floor but lost the battle of the boards, 42-35, and turned the ball over 19 times.

The Kings trailed, 82-67, after Thabo Sefolosha's layup with 9:55 left in the game but began a spirited comeback, pulling within 90-89 after Francisco Garcia's layup with 1:55 remaining. But Sacramento could not get over the hump as Chicago used its strong free-throw shooting to ice the win.

Gordon made a pair and Hughes split two to put Chicago back up, 93-89, with 1:00 minute left. Hughes' miss snapped a string of 29 straight made free throws to begin the game.

Kevin Martin and Rose traded baskets before Martin brought it back to 95-93 with 21 seconds left. But Gooden hit 2-of-4 from the line and Sefolosha knocked down both of his attempts to keep the Bulls ahead.

"It was huge for us to get this win," Rose said. "Hopefully, we will get on a roll. Now we really need a winning streak. We just have to keep it going now."

Martin scored 16 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and Brad Miller finished with 18 and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who have dropped 12 straight on the road.

"I have been on both ends of this as a player and as a coach," Sacramento interim coach Kenny Natt said of the losing streak. "It's a learning process for teams. Hopefully, this is one more step towards us getting better."

"Tonight it had nothing to do with the Bulls," Martin said. "It was all on us tonight."