Kings out to capitalize on Rose-less Bulls

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Kings out to capitalize on Rose-less Bulls

KINGS (10-17) vs.CHICAGO (23-7)5:00 p.m. on CSN CaliforniaPlus
Despite having just concluded a 6-3 road trip, the injury-plagued Chicago Bulls return home a bit disappointed after letting a potential seventh win slip away.A matchup with the last-place club in the Pacific Division could help put them in better spirits.With reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose once again unlikely to be available Tuesday night, the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls try for a for a seventh win in their last eight meetings with the Kings.
Rose has missed seven games this season due to multiple injuries, including the last two with lower back spasms. He saw a specialist Monday and while no structural damage was found, his status remains day-to-day.
NEWS: Bulls without Rose vs. Kings
"Anytime there's not something structurally wrong that's good news," general manager Gar Forman told the Bulls' official website. "He'll have rest and therapy and hopefully be back soon. I know everyone makes fun of (coach) Tom (Thibodeau) about him saying 'day to day.' But it really is day to day. He's been telling you just what it is every day."
"He didn't practice, but he's feeling better," Thibodeau said.

CSNChicago:com: No structural damage for Rose
With Rose sidelined, Chicago (23-7) saw its five-game winning streak come to an end Sunday with a 95-91 loss at Boston. C.J. Watson and Carlos Boozer each scored 22 points but the Bulls shot just 38.6 percent from the field."There's no excuses," said Joakim Noah, who's averaging 13.8 points and 10.8 rebounds over his last five contests. "We're 6-3 on this road trip. We want to be a championship team: 6-3 is OK, not great. Obviously, we're not playing with our MVP. But definitely we had enough in this (locker) room to win this game. I feel like we got outcompeted. I think we could definitely have played better."While the Bulls went 0-3 versus clubs with winning records on their trip, they had little problem winning all six matchups versus teams under .500 - outscoring those opponents by an average of 18.5 points.Chicago has also experienced its share of lopsided victories in this series of late. The Bulls have outscored Sacramento (10-17) by an average of 13.8 points while taking six of the last seven matchups, including a 132-92 victory March 21 in the Kings' last visit to the United Center.Chicago also prevailed 108-98 at Sacramento on Dec. 29 behind 16 points and a season-high 15 boards from Boozer. Rose and Richard Hamilton (right thigh), who also remains sidelined for Chicago, combined for 35 points in that game.The Kings, who won a season-best three straight Feb. 2-6, have since dropped two of three including Saturday's 98-84 home loss to Phoenix.DeMarcus Cousins continued his impressive play with 26 points and nine rebounds while Marcus Thornton scored 21. The rest of the team, however, largely failed to produce.Tyreke Evans - averaging 16.9 points on the season - scored just four while shooting 1 of 9. Isaiah Thomas was only slightly better, making 2 of 9 shots and finishing with five points."We just couldn't make shots and we didn't play as a team," Thomas said. "That kind of starts with me and Tyreke - as point guards we've got to get guys more involved, get them in the rights spots and make the offense flow."Cousins is averaging 20.8 points and 13.6 rebounds over his last five games. He had 15 points and 12 boards in the last meeting with the Bulls.The Kings, who open a six-game road trip Tuesday, have averaged just 87.7 points while going 3-12 away from home. Their 39.9 field-goal percentage in opposing arenas ranks last in the league.
The Associated Press contributed to this report

Instant Replay: Kings beat Nuggets behind career-night for Cauley-Stein

Instant Replay: Kings beat Nuggets behind career-night for Cauley-Stein

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The new look Sacramento Kings might not be done just yet. Despite trading away All-Star DeMarcus Cousins over the weekend, the young and energetic Kings moved to within a half game of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase with a 116-100 drubbing of the Denver Nuggets.

Willie Cauley-Stein is ready for prime time. With plenty of extra opportunities to work with, the 7-footer went off for a career night, dropping in a career-high 29 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.  

Welcome to Sacramento Buddy Hield -- the centerpiece to the trade that sent Cousins to the Pelicans put on a show for his new fanbase. The rookie out of Oklahoma dropped in 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting and grabbed six rebounds in the win.

Seldom-used rookie Skal Labissiere looked aggressive early, scoring eight of his career-high 12 points during the first half. He added three rebounds and two assists off the bench.

Darren Collison set up the youngsters, finishing the night with 10 assists and 12 points. Ben McLemore was overmatched at the small forward spot, but still managed to go for 10 points on 2-for-3 shooting from long range.

Tyreke Evans added 15 points in his first game back in a Kings uniform in nearly four years, while Kosta Koufos chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

Gary Harris got it going from the perimeter, dropping in 23 points on 5-of-11 from deep.

Sacramento played small ball and Danilo Gallinari made them pay. In his first game after an eight game absence, the Italian-born forward scored 15 points and handed out six rebounds.

Wilson Chandler added 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Jameer Nelson finished with 12 points and six assists and Will Barton tossed in 16 off the Denver bench.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Cauley-Stein put on an aerial assault with highlight reel dunks and pretty jumpers from the perimeter. The second-year big said he was ready to take off Tuesday when he spoke to media members, but no one saw this coming.

TURNING POINT

The Kings punched first and never stop hitting the Nuggets. Denver looked stunned as the Kings’ young players put on a show.

INJURY UPDATE

Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson are all out with varying degrees of hamstring issues. Afflalo sat with hamstring stiffness and is day-to-day. Temple is out for another few games with a left hamstring tear and rookie Richardson is out 4-6 weeks with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the season with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings return to the court next Saturday for a mid-day matinee -- Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets drop by Golden 1 Center for a 2 pm start.

Former Kings forward Casspi breaks thumb in Pelicans debut

Former Kings forward Casspi breaks thumb in Pelicans debut

NEW ORLEANS — Omri Casspi has broken his right thumb in his first game with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Casspi says he's expected to miss about four weeks but hopes he can return a little sooner than that.

The forward says he jammed the thumb on his shooting hand while trying to defend Houston guard Eric Gordon in the third quarter of the Pelicans' 129-99 loss to the Rockets on Thursday night.

He says he briefly remained in the game but opted for an X-ray after it swelled up and learned it was broken.

Casspi scored 12 points while playing just under 24 minutes.

Casspi was acquired by New Orleans on Sunday night in a trade with Sacramento that also brought DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans.