CHICAGO – “As The Bulls Turn” could be a fitting name for a soap opera featuring the Windy City’s National Basketball Association team.
When it comes to drama, they have the market cornered.
A week after firing their coach, they had an emotional win over the Thunder followed by the worst loss in franchise history. A practice called on Sunday reportedly led to friction, the possibility of a player boycott, and more controversy for a team that’s got just six wins on the NBA season.
With things smoothed over for the moment, the hope for Jim Boylen was to give themselves and those who follow the team something positive to discuss other than continued drama.
All they had was 27 minutes.
With Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis back in the lineup for the first time since October, the Bulls took a 12-point lead to halftime. But that wouldn’t hold, as a surprising Kings’ team overcame a 12-point third quarter deficit to beat their hosts by 19 Monday night at the United Center.
Outscored by eight in the third quarter and 12 in the fourth, the Bulls have now lost 3-of-4 games since Boylen took over for the fired Hoiberg, as they fall to 6-22 on the season.
Portis and Dunn each scored 9 points in their return to the lineup, with each around 20 minutes of time on the floor. Zach LaVine led the way with 19 points in a game that was a story of two halves. In hopes of redemption from a 56-point defeat to the Celtics, the Bulls led 56-45 at the end of the first half. The lead would grow to 12 on a Lavine layup with 8:30 left in the third, but it was straight downhill after that.
Sacramento closed the quarter on a 30-11 run then finished off the Bulls in the fourth by outscoring them 27-15 to turn a potential night of redemption into a forgettable lopsided defeat.