On a warm night in Chicago, Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls got past DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings by the score of 102-99.
Dwyane Wade played hero Saturday night, scoring 30 points on 9-of-20 shooting, while blocking 4 shots and coming away with 3 steals. Wade, who struggled early, had 13 4th quarter points for the Bulls, and knocked down a clutch free throw giving the Bulls the lead with 14 seconds left, as well as getting a late game steal, thus sealing the win for his hometown Bulls.
All-Star starter Jimmy Butler pitched in 23 points in 39 minutes, connecting on 6-of-14 shots from the floor. Taj Gibson was quiet, scoring just 7 points while Michael Carter-Willams and Rajon Rondo combined for 2 points on 1-of-6 shooting. Hoiberg needs more from the point guard position-- Jerian Grant, Denzel Valentine, and Isaiah Cannan did not get off of the bench. Rondo played only 6 minutes, and did not see any action in the second half. Rondo's days are likely numbered in Chicago, as he just simply does not fit in with this roster. Rondo, who had some interesting things to say about his former club, had previously stated if his benching was permanent, he would ask to be traded or released- It may be best for John Paxson and Gar Foreman to admit their mistake and move on from the veteran point guard.
Paul Zipser seems to have solidified himself in the rotation, as he was the first player off of the bench tonight scoring 13 points, while hitting 3 Three-Pointers. Zipser has shown promise in his given minutes, and has moved ahead of both McDermott and Mirotic on the depth chart. McDermott continues his struggling season, scoring just 5 points total in the last two games. McDermott played 21 minutes, taking only 5 shots. Mirotic provided second spark to Zipser off of the bench with 11 points in 22 minutes. Cristiano Felicio grabbed 10 rebounds in just 15 minutes, while scoring 4 points.
Soon to be 200 million dollar man DeMarcus Cousins was unstoppable for the Kings, scoring 42 points on 16-of-28 from the field. Cousins was the only Kins player to score in double figures, while the rest of the starters combined for only 32 points. The Kings have now lost 9 of their last 11 games and one has to wonder how much longer Cousins can put up with the losing. Cousins showed frustration towards the end of this one, as he was called for a late game foul on Dwyane Wade's missed dunk on a fast break. With very minimal contact if any, Cousins was not happy, and took it out on a trash can heading to the visitors locker room. The Bulls caught a break from the officials and were able to seal the deal with a Michael Carter-Williams layup with 2 seconds left. The Bulls ended a 2 game skid with this winning effort, but the inconsistencies are still visible from this club. As the bench continues to struggle to score, Gar and Pax should seriously consider acquiring shooters to space the floor for Jimmy Butler. The Bulls will look to carry the momentum from this win to Orlando as they face off against Frank Vogel's Magic on Tuesday night.