|3:00 PM PT4:00 PM MT5:00 PM CT6:00 PM ET22:00 GMT6:00 3:00 PM MST5:00 PM EST2:00 UAE (+1)23:0018:00 ET4:00 PM CT21:00 , March 17, 2019
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California Attendance: 17,583
Kings in need of victories entering clash with Bulls
Chicago Bulls at Sacramento Kings
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The Sacramento Kings hit a soft patch in the schedule at an opportune time when they open a four-game homestand on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls.
The Kings (33-35) will take the court in ninth place in the Western Conference playoff race, needing to make up some serious ground in the final 14 games of the season.
Fortunately for Sacramento, the Bulls will be among three non-contenders to visit on the Kings' four-game homestand, which also features matchups with Brooklyn, Dallas and Phoenix.
The Kings are coming off a 1-3 Eastern swing that ended with three straight losses, but at least they arrived home healthy.
After missing five straight games with a knee injury, Marvin Bagley III was able to put in 39 minutes in the trip-ending back-to-back at Boston and Philadelphia.
He totaled 29 points in those 39 minutes, making 10 of his 18 shots.
While the Kings lost both those games, coach Dave Joerger was encouraged by the way his young team stood up to a pair of Eastern powers at the end of a tough trip.
"We're playing hard, we're playing the right way, we're playing together," Joerger assured reporters after Friday's 123-114 loss to the 76ers. "The wins are going to come."
That could start as early as Sunday against a Bulls team the Kings shellacked 108-89 in Chicago in December.
The Bulls have made some changes since then, but not enough to prevent three straight road losses, including 128-121 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night to start a three-game trip.
Chicago isn't assured of having its coach available for the Sacramento game after Jim Boylen was ejected following an on-court verbal altercation with Clippers counterpart Doc Rivers in the second half of Friday's loss.
Rivers also was given the heave-ho following the incident, which began with Boylen complaining to the referees about hard picks being set by the Clippers on Ryan Arcidiacono and Shaq Harrison.
"All I know is I got a guy (Arcidiacono) sitting in the locker room who's one of my toughest guys I've ever coached -- ever -- in 31 years of doing this and can't play, and I got another guy who's one of my toughest guys I've coached in Shaq and gets banged around and is rubbing his shoulder," Boylen explained to reporters afterward. "I didn't like it."
The NBA was expected to rule on a possible suspension before Sunday's game tips off.
The Bulls responded well to their coach's passion, outscoring the Clippers 37-26 in the fourth quarter to make a game of it.
If Arcidiacono is unable to go Sunday, it would be a blow to the Bulls' depth. The second-year guard had averaged 11.0 points on 14-for-20 shooting over three games before getting sent to the locker room after just eight minutes Friday.
Arcidiacono was a starter when the Kings saw the Bulls more than three months ago. He contributed just two points to the Chicago effort that night.
The Kings dominated the earlier meeting from the perimeter, connecting on 16 3-pointers, with Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox hitting four apiece.
The Bulls, meanwhile, countered with just eight 3s on a night when young standout Lauri Markkanen made only one of his eight attempts from beyond the arc.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 16, 2019