The King played the Chicago Bulls last night coming off an impressive win against another young fledgling team in the Bucks. In Milwuakee, Tyreke Evans put the game away with a last second layup that he miraculously got off before time ran out.
With a win to kick off four games in five nights, Sacramento looked to be off to a good start on what was a quick road trip. But the next night in Chicago could not start any worse for this Kings team.
Sacramento began the second half down nearly 30 points. The Kings were down 79-44 with a little less than nine minutes left in the third quarter. The game seemed to be all but over.
Little did anyone at the United Center know last night history would take place. Whether or not the majority of them wanted to be a part if it or not.
Reminder: the score reads 79-44 in the third quarter. A little under 21 minutes of game clock remains.
The Kings began slowly chipping away at the Bull lead. Their offense looked patient and selective, as to not to spoil any opportunities. Pushing the ball when they could, and slowing down to set up their offense when they needed to.
Jason Thompson looked like Chris Webber knocking down mid-range jumpers like nobody's business. Sergio Rodriguez came in to dish out seven assists and nail a three-pointer to go along with a couple of runners at the hoop.
With a great collaborative effort and a Tyreke Evans lay-up to end the third, the Kings were down 19 points heading into the fourth quarter.
In nearly any situation, a team down 35 points, even 19 to begin the final quarter of a game, have meager odds at best of winning. Let alone win a game down big on the road. Lady Luck and some gritty play I suppose caused this unbelievable turn of events.
Sacramento continued cutting into their lead. Chicago was up 19, 13 at the next timeout. Then after a second consecutive three-pointer from Ime Udoka with 2:30 left in the game the Kings were down four. This game is now very winnable as it is only a two possession game.
The score: Chicago 95 Sacramento 91.
After gaining a one point lead, Sacramento puts the ball, and on another level the game in the hands of Evans again. He is caught on a switch and is covered by Luol Deng, who is a few inches taller than Evans. With one second and no where to go, Evans fires up a fade away jumper just inside the three-point arc.
The arc on his shot resembles that of a rainbow, or perhaps the St. Louis Gateway Arch. After what feels like minutes of staring...
The Kings now lead 99-96. From here the Kings had the lead for good after Evans made one of two free-throws and Beno Udrih calmly iced two free-throws with just seconds left.
Final score: Sacramento 102 Chicago 98
The Kings outscored Chicago 58 to 19 in the remaining 20 minutes 50 seconds of the game. It was the second largest comeback in NBA history. The largest was 13 years earlier when the Utah Jazz were down 36 points playing the Suns in Phoenix.
The unsung hero of the game had to be Jon Brockman. He came in for Spencer Hawes after his block that ended up being ruled goaltending, which gave Chicago the 35 point lead.
Brockman only had six rebounds, but he was under the hoop on several occasions down the stretch to tip the ball out to the perimeter or keep the ball out of reach of a Bulls player and help keep a play alive. He also hit the deck for a loose ball which resulted in a crucial fast break point.
Last night marked Chicago's 14th loss in 20 games. There had been many whispers swirling around about coach Vinny Del Negro's job being in jeopardy. One can only imagine last night's second half meltdown has only made the discussion louder.
Sacramento won consecutive road games for the first time since the 2007-2008 season...Luol Deng led the Bulls with 26 points, 20 coming in the first half...Ime Udoka finished with 17 points, 15 of them coming in the final period...Tyreke Evans outscored the Bull 9-3 in the closing minutes of the game...Sacramento only had three turnovers in second half, 13 in the first...
Sacramento faces Lebron James and the Cavaliers on December 23rd at Arco Arena. It will be the first time Tyreke Evans faces the last player to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in their rookie season. LeBron James did it six years prior, and was the third player to do so, following Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan.