Things don't turn out fine for Chicago Bulls in Sacramento
There appeared to be some togetherness building among the Chicago Bulls, after the unusual coach ejections Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Bulls coach Jim Boylen and the Clippers' Doc Rivers were tossed together in the third quarter for jawing at each other. Boylen was upset with a couple of hard screens set by Clippers center Montrezl Harrell, and there were reports Saturday that Zach LaVine had offered to pay Boylen's fine.
Well, there was no evidence of a player-coach bond on the court in Sacramento. The Bulls were pounded by the Kings 129-102 at the Golden 1 Center on Sunday, extending the Bulls' losing streak to five games.
Boylen addressed the LaVine offer before the game, and, for the record, it would violate NBA rules if LaVine did pay the fine.
"I think it just shows what kind of kid he is and what kind of leader he's becoming," Boylen said. "It was really a cool thing for me personally. With the way our relationship's grown and kind of the care factor he has, the trust that we have in each other. It was real emotional to me.
"With that being said, I've been preaching since Day 1 that we have to take accountability for our actions. We have to own our mistakes and we've got to move on. So he will not pay my fine. I appreciate it, but he will not. I will pay my own fine. Those were my actions, and I need to be accountable for them, but I really appreciate it."
LaVine led the Bulls with 18 points Sunday, but they couldn't get much of anything going offensively until it was too late. The Bulls did stay within 24-23 in the first quarter.
During the losing streak, the Bulls have been awful in the third quarter, giving up at least 40 points in every loss. That happened again Sunday, but the game started to go wrong when the Bulls subbed early in the second quarter. Sacramento outscored the Bulls 32-17 in the second and 43-31 in the third.
"Their speed and athleticism, physicality and toughness overpowered us," Boylen said. "We lost the boards and we lost the turnover game, which you can't do on the road. Our starters need to play better. They know it and they have to play better."
Lauri Markkanen had another quiet game with 11 points and 3 rebounds. Otto Porter Jr. had just 8 points and 2 boards.
"Lauri is a young developing player. He's got to power through," Boylen said. "I want him to rebound the ball better, that seems to get him going. He's got to get back to doing that."
The Bulls seemed to adhere to former coach Fred Hoiberg's frequent complaint of hanging their heads when shots don't fall. No one on the Bulls' roster played as many as 30 minutes since the game was out of reach throughout the second half. The Bulls finish a three-game road trip Monday night in Phoenix.
Sacramento's leading scorer was rookie power forward Marvin Bagley III, who had 21 points and 9 rebounds. This was Bagley's third game back after he missed a couple of weeks with a knee injury. He was the No. 2 pick in last year's draft, and the Bulls' will face the top pick, Suns center DeAndre Ayton, on Monday.
Bagley did his damage while playing just 21 minutes. Second-year forward Harry Giles also had a nice game, with 16 points and 3 blocks. Second-year point guard De'Aaron Fox finished with 17 points, while shooting guard Buddy Hield added 16.
The Bulls' thoughts will be on the draft lottery in May, and they have chance to drop behind Phoenix for one of the three worst records in the league. They'll head into Monday's meeting with a 2-game lead over the Suns, who have gone 5-3 in their last eight games.
The bottom three teams will each get a 14-percent chance at the top pick, while the fourth-worst team gets a 12.5-percent chance.
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Bulls game dayBulls vs. Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m. at Talking Stick Resort Arena
TV: NBCSCH; Radio: WSCR 670-AM
Outlook: The Suns have caught fire lately, winning five of their last eight, and are just 2 games behind the Bulls in the standings. At the moment, the Bulls own the league's fourth-worst record. The bottom three get a 14-percent chance at the top pick in the draft lottery, while No. 4 gets 12.5 percent. … Phoenix has a couple of high-scoring wings in Devin Booker (25.5 ppg) and Kelly Oubre (16.9). Last year's No. 1 overall draft pick, C DeAndre Ayton, is averaging 16.2 points and 10.3 rebounds. … The Bulls beat the Suns 124-116 at the UC on Nov. 21 behind 29 points from Zach LaVine. … The Bulls have gone 6-3 in Phoenix since the 2008-09 season.
Next: Washington Wizards, 7 p.m. Wednesday at the United Center
-- Mike McGraw