In their first game without Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls offense struggles in a loss to the Kings

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JANUARY 24: Harry III Giles #20 of the Sacramento Kings blocks a shot attempt by Shaquille Harrison #3 of the Chicago Bulls in the second quarter at the United Center on January 24, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – While he may not have been at his best for a lot of the 2019-2020 season, he still gave something for opposing defenses to think about.

Lauri Markkanen did have the capability to score 20 and sometimes 30 points in a game, giving opposing defenses something to think about other than Zach LaVine when facing the Bulls. But with the forward out 4-to-6 weeks with a right pelvis stress reaction, a second scoring threat must emerge for the Bulls.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in the first game the Bulls were without the services of the forward.

Only four players were able to reach double points on the night, and three of those were either ten or eleven. Zach LaVine had 21 points to extend his 20-point streak to 13 games, be he was shut down late in a 98-81 loss to the Kings on Friday at the United Center.

The guard failed to score a single basket in the fourth quarter as the Sacramento defense only let him get on the board with a single free throw with 4:05 to go. By that point the visitors had pulled out to a 16-point lead as they held the Bulls to just 12 fourth quarter points in dropping the team to 17-30 on the season.

The 81 points were the second-lowest for the team this season, with only the 73 point effort against the Hornets on December 13th being worse.

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