Chicago Bulls, Dwyane Wade overcome Sacramento Kings, DeMarcus Cousins

By Tom Musick, The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 22, 2017 at 1:53 AM
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CHICAGO -- Sacramento Kings standout DeMarcus Cousins might have set a franchise record for sarcasm after a questionable foul call against him led to a bitter defeat Saturday night.

The call helped the Chicago Bulls emerge with a 102-99 win in the final minute of the game.

"I think they made the absolute right call -- incredible job by the referee crew tonight," Cousins said as teammates snickered in the background. "I don't have a complaint in the world. I think they should get more recognition on how well they ref these games.

"I don't think they get the credit they deserve. Kudos to them. I applaud them."

Cousins clapped loudly a half-dozen times to punctuate his point.

The tongue-in-cheek performance followed an emotional outburst from Cousins, who screamed at officials and reportedly knocked over garbage cans as he stormed to the Kings' locker room after the game. The fiery power forward scored 42 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, but he was whistled for a foul against Bulls guard Dwyane Wade with the score tied at 99 and 14 seconds remaining.

Replays appeared to show Wade missing a breakaway slam dunk without being fouled. Referees ruled that Cousins pushed Wade from behind to force the missed dunk.

"The last couple of minutes, it was a desperate team trying to win a ballgame and do whatever it takes," said Wade, who led the Bulls with 30 points. "I got the steal and put pressure on the ball. I think I took off a little too far. The refs saw him come close to me, and I thought he probably nudged me a little bit. Hey, sometimes you get the call, sometimes you don't. So I was able to get to the line and put us up one."

On the next possession, Wade stripped the ball from Cousins and pushed a pass to guard Michael Carter-Williams for a game-sealing dunk. Chicago (22-23) snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 14-9 on its home court.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg praised his team for bouncing back from a listless loss against the Atlanta Hawks one night earlier. Chicago combined for seven blocked shots and seven steals.

"I thought it was night and day from last night," Hoiberg said. "Our energy was really good all night long. DeMarcus Cousins was pretty much unguardable for the majority of the game. ... But we got just enough stops to find a way."

Cousins was the only Kings player to score in double digits. Sacramento (16-27) has lost five games in a row for the first time this season.

Kings coach Dave Joerger did not comment specifically about the last-minute foul call on Cousins. He said he liked the competitiveness from his team, which grabbed a 99-97 lead with 52.4 seconds to go but could not finish.

"I was proud of our effort," Joerger said. "That's what I told those guys in there. They played their tails off for 48 minutes."

Wade fueled the Bulls' late rally with several defensive stops in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. He blocked a 3-point attempt by Kings guard Arron Afflalo and forced a turnover several minutes later before converting with a layup to put Chicago ahead 95-91.

Cousins responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to give Sacramento a 97-95 lead with 2:13 remaining. Wade quickly answered with a fadeaway jump shot to even the score.

Two dazzling plays gave the Bulls a 75-73 advantage entering the fourth quarter. Forward Nikola Mirotic drove for a baseline dunk to even the score at 73. Forward Jimmy Butler followed with an up-and-under layup to put the Bulls on top.

Chicago led 55-52 after a back-and-forth first half that featured nine lead changes and 10 ties. A 3-pointer by Bulls forward Doug McDermott gave the Bulls a nine-point lead early in the second quarter.

The Kings responded with an 11-3 run that included six points by reserve guard Ty Lawson, who finished the game with eight points.

NOTES: Chicago F Jimmy Butler returned to the United Center for the first time since he was named as an Eastern Conference starter in the All-Star Game. ... Sacramento F Garrett Temple started his second consecutive game in place of F Rudy Gay, who will miss the rest of the season because of a ruptured left Achilles' tendon. ... Chicago G Michael Carter-Williams started his 12th consecutive game ahead of G Rajon Rondo, who has been relegated to a bench role for the past three weeks. ... Sacramento F/C DeMarcus Cousins scored 42 points to give him 9,540 career points. He moved past Peja Stojakovic (9,498 points) for second place on the Kings' all-time scoring list. The franchise's all-time scoring leader is Mitch Richmond with 12,070 points.

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