Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/17

Game 1: Tuesday, November 17th
Bulls101Final
Kings87
Game 2: Monday, December 21st
Kings102Final
Bulls98

Kings 102

(13-14, 3-11 away)

Bulls 98

(10-16, 8-6 home)

Coverage: CSNC

8:00 PM ET, December 21, 2009

United Center, Chicago, IL

1 2 3 4 T
SAC 19 24 26 33102
CHI 38 29 21 1098

Top Performers

Sacramento: T. Evans 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

Chicago: L. Deng 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Kings rally from 35 down to clip Bulls at finish

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The buzzer sounded, the 35-point comeback was complete and both the ecstatic Sacramento Kings and the stunned Chicago Bulls had trouble describing what had just happened.

"Wow! All I can say is, 'Wow!" Tyreke Evans said after dominating down the stretch and leading the Kings to a 102-98 victory Monday night. "We fought to the end. It was amazing."

Indeed, it was one of the most amazing comebacks in NBA history.

Fit For A King

With 8:50 remaining in the the third quarter, the Kings looked down and out. But a funny thing happened the rest of the way. Here's a look at Sacramento's improbable closing run:

Before Run Rest of Game
Margin -35 +39
Field goals 15-43 21-39
3-point FG 5-14 6-9
Free throws 9-11 10-15

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the biggest rally since Utah overcame a 36-point deficit to beat Denver on Nov. 27, 1996.

"I mean, what can you say? It's unheard of to do what just happened," Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "I'm not even sure I believe it, but it sure was fun."

The Bulls were talking about a collapse, not a comeback.

"This one stings," Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We stopped being aggressive, got a little complacent there and they jumped on it. We're not good enough to take a minute off, never mind a half."

The Bulls led 79-44 with 8:50 left in the third quarter, and were still up 83-50 two minutes later before the Kings stole momentum and, eventually, the game.

Fast Facts

• The Bulls blew a 35-point lead, allowing the Kings outscore them by 39 in the final 20 minutes, 50 seconds.

• The 35-point comeback was largest since the Jazz rallied from a 36-point deficit to beat the Nuggets in 1996.

• The Kings improved to 17-5 in their last 22 games vs. the Bulls.

• Rookie guard Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 23 points and eight rebounds.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

After Sacramento finished the third with a 19-5 run to make it 88-69, Ime Udoka scored 15 of the Kings' first 22 points in the fourth quarter to cut it to 95-91 with 2:28 remaining.

Evans, the outstanding rookie guard from Memphis, then personally outscored the Bulls 9-3 the rest of the way.

He converted a three-point play and, after Chicago's Luol Deng made a free throw, scored on a drive and hit a foul shot to give the Kings their first lead since the opening minutes. Evans then hit a 22-footer at the shot-clock buzzer to put Sacramento up 99-96.

Derrick Rose made two free throws to cut it to 99-98 before Evans hit one of two foul shots. After Rose missed a layup, Beno Udrih clinched the win with two more free throws.

"I think we relaxed," said Deng, who scored 26 points. "We were making mistakes defensively. We were just not aggressive and that carries over to offense. It's frustrating."

As the sellout crowd booed the Bulls off the court, Kings owner Gavin Maloof celebrated.

"If they didn't know who Tyreke Evans was, they know him now," he said. "It was magical."

Evans followed Rose to Memphis, where each played only one year of college ball before turning pro. Rose was last season's Rookie of the Year and Evans -- one of just four NBA players averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists -- is a front-runner for the award this season.

"I just kept attacking and never gave up," Evans said.

The Bulls were almost perfect in the first quarter, shooting 71 percent, committing no turnovers, holding the Kings to 39 percent shooting and forcing seven giveaways. Chicago built a 67-43 lead by halftime and opened the second half with a 12-1 run that seemingly put the game away.

But as the Bulls gradually came unglued -- they were only 2 for 10 from the floor and committed nine turnovers in the fourth quarter -- Evans, Udoka and the Kings took control.

"This game was absolutely crazy," ex-Bull Andres Nocioni said. "I've played in many games with national teams and many games in the NBA and I've never seen anything like that. I don't know if we won the game or the Chicago Bulls lost the game."

The despondent Del Negro knew.

"It was a matter of us not being smart at either end," he said. "It's frustrating. It's difficult. But what are you going to do, put your head down and feel sorry for yourself? You've got to go play."

Game notes


Rose finished with 24 points and seven assists. ... Nocioni received a nice ovation when introduced before the game. Acquired from Chicago last February, he was one of the Bulls' most popular players of the post-Michael Jordan years. "I'm fine with Sacramento," he said, "but I miss Chicago a lot." ... Bulls F Tyrus Thomas, who broke a bone in his left forearm on Nov. 6, returned to practice Sunday. Del Negro hopes Thomas will play Saturday against New Orleans. ... Deng has averaged 23 points while playing the last four games with a small fracture in his left (non-shooting) thumb.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SAC
CHI
Points 102 98
FGM-FGA 36-82 (.439) 38-80 (.475)
3PM-3PA 11-23 (.478) 4-10 (.400)
FTM-FTA 19-26 (.731) 18-24 (.750)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-41 12-44
Assists 19 19
Turnovers 16 20
Steals 8 8
Blocks 5 4
Fast Break Points 17 17
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 4 35

Top Performers

Sacramento
Chicago
Tyreke Evans Evans
Points: 23
Reb: 8
Ast: 3
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Luol Deng Deng
Points: 26
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 1