DeMarcus Cousins Returns, Keys Sacramento Kings In Rout Of Chicago Bulls


Jan 7, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) speaks to a referee during the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins missed six straight games for the Sacramento Kings and the Kings lost every one of them. He returned Monday night and just like that, the Kings’ seven-game losing skid disappeared as Cousins scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and the Kings crushed the Chicago Bulls 99-70 at Sleep Train Arena.

Cousins’ job was made much simpler when Bulls’ All-Star center Joakim Noah was ejected with 7:40 to go in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul in less than three minutes.

Noah played just 19 minutes and had four points and four rebounds. He got his first technical less than two minutes into the second half and picked up his second moments later when he was called for a touch foul on Cousins. He yelled at the officials all the way to the tunnel.

But Noah’s real rage should have been against the Sacramento offense, which absolutely suffocated the Bulls. Sacramento held the Bulls to 28.2 percent shooting and out-rebounded Chicago by a whopping 53-30.

The Kings dominance inside was absolute—Sacramento outscored the Bulls in the paint by a ridiculously lopsided 48-14 margin.

Cousins scored 12 of his points in the third quarter, as the Kings took control of the game, expanding an 11-point halftime lead to 14 before breaking the game wide open in the fourth period.

Ben McLemore drove the lane with 9:20 left in the game to put Sacramento up 21, 79-58, and Jimmer Fredette’s 3-pointer with 4:11 to go pushed the lead to 30 points at 95-65.

Chicago never led after Carlos Boozer hit the first shot of the game to make it 2-0.

Cousins showed few ill effects of the sprained left ankle that kept him out of the lineup for a week and a half, logging 34 minutes and hitting 8-of-15 from the floor.

Isaiah Thomas added 19 points for the Kings, Rudy Gay scored 14 and Fredette finished with 11 points and four assists in 11 minutes. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor and hit his only 3-pointer attempt. Cousins also had four assists to tie for the team lead.

For the Bulls, Jimmy Butler scored 17 points and made three steals, while Tony Snell and Taj Gibson scored 11 points each. Boozer had nine rebounds but scored just eight points on 4-of-15 shooting and D.J. Augustin handed out a game-high seven assists but had just eight points on a 2-for-11 night.

Chicago was 22-for-78 (28.2 percent) overall, 4-for-20 (20 percent) from 3-point land and 22-for-34 (64.7 percent) from the foul line. Sacramento was 36-for-69 (52.2 percent), 2-for-8 (25 percent) and 25-for 34 (73.5 percent).

It was the Kings’ second-largest win of the season, topped only by their 44-point win over the Cavaliers on Jan. 12. If was Chicago’s most lopsided loss of the season; the Bulls had twice been beaten by 22 points (Dec. 14 by the Raptors and Dec. 28 by Dallas, both at home).

The Kings welcome in Atlantic Division-leading Toronto on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. contest at Sleep Train Arena.