SACRAMENTO – The last time these two teams met, the Bulls appeared on the brink of a mutiny.
That’s back on December 10th, not long after Jim Boylen took over the team from Fred Hoiberg. Following a franchise-worst 56 point loss, the new coach called practice after back-to-back games. So upset, some players threatened to boycott the workout until cooler heads prevailed.
The Kings crushed the bumbling Bulls 108-89, which was apart of a rough transition for Boylen to the leadership position of the team.
Fast forward three months later, and the team was in Sacramento to face the Kings for a second and final time this season. This comes just a day after Zach LaVine, one of those who reportedly was upset over the called practice in December, offered to pay Boylen’s upcoming fine after getting ejected defending his players in a loss to the Clippers.
Certainly, it’s a signal of a shift in the relationship between LaVine and his coach as a season of change continues to wind down. If anything, there are a few more positive vibes about where the Bulls’ current rebuild is heading.
Yet despite the better relationship between coach and players, it didn’t help the team against the Kings. Once again, Sacramento had the upper hand and even more than before.
The hosts blew open the game with a 32-17 second quarter and raced away to a 129-102 victory Sunday evening at the Golden 1 Center. Sacramento his 52 percent of their 103 shots on the evening and gave the team their 34th victory of the campaign and a season sweep for the Bulls, who fall to 19-52.
It also continues a difficult month for Boylen’s team, who’ve lost five-in-a-row and are just 2-7 in the month of March.
After offering to pay his coach’s fine, LaVine led the Bulls with 18 points, but only Lauri Markkanen (11 points) joined him as starters that scored in the double digits. Rookie Marvin Bagley III led the way for the Kings with 21 points as they snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory.
It might have been different circumstances for the Bulls when the faced Sacramento this time, especially when it comes to the Boylen-players relationship, but the result didn’t change against their Western Conference foe.