CHICAGO (AP)—In the past, the Bulls would have folded after allowing 14 straight points and blowing a 10-point lead in the second half.
Not this season.
The Bulls snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Kings, beating them for the first time since Feb. 28, 1998. They withstood a 14-0 Kings run in the third quarter.
Eddy Curry scored 25 points and had 12 rebounds for Chicago, which handed the Kings a rare Eastern Conference loss. They are 15-3 against East teams.
Chris Webber put the Kings up 91-90 with a jumper with 3:08 left, then the Bulls pulled away. Gordon hit two free throws and Kirk Hinrich made a 3-pointer for a 95-91 edge and the Bulls led the rest of the way.
“That was really huge for us, that really showed our maturity,” said Curry. “They came back and jumped on us early (in the third quarter) and took the lead, then we were able to battle back and not let it get out of hand, then we took it away from them.”
Brad Miller had a three-point play for the Kings to cut the lead to 100-98 with a minute left, but Gordon answered for the Bulls with a jumper.
Miller hit a basket with 39.8 seconds left that would’ve cut the Chicago lead to two, but was whistled for an offensive foul after the officials discussed the call.
“I just don’t understand. How can you be so absolute if it didn’t happen. That’s a big play,” said Kings coach Rick Adelman. “They said they had to get it right, that’s what (official) Luis Grillo told me. ‘We got to get it right.’ So I told him … ‘Well you got it wrong.”’
Miller scored 23 points and had nine rebounds, and Mike Bibby had 21 points and seven assists.
Webber fouled out with 1:09 left. He had 15 points and nine rebounds. Webber shot 1-of-12 in the first half for the Kings and scored just two points.
Trailing 56-46 early in the third quarter, the Kings responded by outscoring the Bulls 14-0 in a 2:14 span. Cuttino Mobley and Bibby hit three consecutive 3s, giving the Kings a 60-56 lead. Mobley ended the game with 20 points.
“I felt like we started the third quarter pretty good. Then of all of sudden it just hit us and we started dragging a little bit,” said Bulls coach Scott Skiles. “Sacramento is a great offensive club. You turn your head for a second and they hit shots.”
The Bulls went on a 10-2 run midway through the second quarter. Curry scored six points in the span. He had 11 in the quarter.
Deng and Harrington both ended up with 15 points and Hinrich scored 11 points with 12 assists.
“I think we are just playing together more as a team. More and more players are contributing in key moments,” said Gordon. “That’s the way you do it in big ballgames against good teams like that.”
Notes: Before the game, Mobley was fined $10,000 by the NBA for his protest after referees did not call goaltending on his last-minute shot during a loss to Dallas. Mobley had to be restrained from going after the officials by Miller on Friday night. … Both teams were without key players. Bulls forward Tyson Chandler’s close friend died on Monday and Chandler flew home to California, but plans on being back with the team in Toronto for Wednesday’s game against the Raptors. Kings forward Peja Stojakovic missed the game because of flulike symptoms. He traveled back to Sacramento and will miss Wednesday’s game against the Nets.