SACRAMENTO — DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and 16 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings snap a seven-game losing streak by defeating the Chicago Bulls, 99-70, on Monday night.
Cousins, the Kings’ leading scorer and rebounder, missed the previous six games with a sprained ankle. Cousins came out aggressive, getting 11 points and seven rebounds in the first quarter when the Kings led 24-12. They never trailed the remainder of the game.
Jimmy Butler had 17 points for the frustrated Bulls, who have lost two straight and three of four. Tony Snell and Taj Gibson each had 11 points. Chicago was outscored 28-13 in the fourth quarter.
Chicago All-Star center Joakim Noah had four points and four rebounds before being ejected in the third quarter when he picked up two technical fouls in less than three minutes. The second technical came after Noah was called for a foul against Cousins at the 7:40 mark.
Isaiah Thomas had 19 points for the Kings, who stretched the lead to 20 points four minutes into the fourth quarter. Rudy Gay had 14 points and Jimmer Fredette had all of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Chicago shot 28 percent and was outrebounded 53-30 in losing back-to-back games for the first time since mid-December. The point total was a season-low for a Kings’ opponent.
Fredette made jumper and Ben McLemore followed with a basket, giving Sacramento an 84-62 lead at the 7:15 mark of the fourth quarter.
Before Monday morning’s shootaround, Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer talked with the media regarding his displeasure with coach Tom Thibodeau’s tendency not to play him in the fourth quarter, when the minutes typically go to Gibson. Boozer had four points in 21 minutes Saturday in a loss to New Orleans.
Against the Kings, Boozer had eight points and nine rebounds in 35 minutes, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Cousins was dominant in the low block, scoring 12 points in the third quarter when Sacramento built its lead to 71-57. The physical play continued in the quarter, where three technicals were called and every foul seemed to be followed by complaints.
Thomas scored 15 first-half points for the Kings, who led 44-33. The Bulls shot 24 percent in the opening half and trailed 24-12 after one quarter. The 12 points was the second fewest this season by a Kings’ opponent.