Bulls seek consecutive wins vs. Kings

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The Chicago Bulls have followed up each of their past five victories with a loss.

The Bulls will try to reverse that trend when they host the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

Chicago is coming off a 117-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night and will look to win back-to-back contests for the first time in more than a month.

The Bulls have won four of their past seven games while posting a 3-0 record at home.

“I’ve said before that we have a hardworking, high-character group of guys who are willing to be coached and willing to work,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen recently told reporters. “That’s a credit to them. Those are things I think are important.”

Sacramento is looking to snap a six-game losing streak. The Kings are coming off a 127-106 road defeat to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

A pair of injuries to Marvin Bagley III (foot) and Richaun Holmes (shoulder) have hurt Sacramento’s depth. Bagley is averaging 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, while Holmes is not far behind with averages of 13.1 points and 8.5 boards.

The Kings did get roster help in the form of Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver. Both players made their team debuts Wednesday after arriving in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Bazemore scored seven points in 16 minutes, while Tolliver did not score in six-plus minutes.

“Me and Kent both feel exactly the same way — it’s not unfixable,” 12-year veteran Tolliver told reporters when asked about the Kings’ slump. “It’s not something where we feel, ‘(Oh no), we’re just going to have to ride it out.’ We really feel we have an opportunity to do something with the guys we have.”

The Bulls and Kings previously played once this season, with Chicago posting a 113-106 win Dec. 2 in Sacramento. Zach LaVine scored a team-high 28 points for the Bulls, making seven of 13 shots overall and five of seven attempts from beyond the 3-point line.

LaVine leads the Bulls with 25.0 points per game. He will try to stay hot against Sacramento after scoring 25 or more points seven times in his past nine games.

Buddy Hield led the Kings in the first meeting with the Bulls. He scored 26 points on 9-of-21 shooting but made only three of 13 shots from beyond the arc.

Like LaVine, Hield is tops on his team in scoring. He is averaging 20.0 points in his fourth NBA season but has failed to reach 20 points five times in his past seven games.

Chicago is 10-14 at home this season. Sacramento is 7-16 on the road.

Both teams could use a victory Friday to lighten the mood.

“There are days that we look really good and we play really good basketball, and sometimes we get stagnant,” Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen said. “(We) just have to figure out what it is and make it consistent.”

–Field Level Media

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