The Bulls were in fine form Monday, shooting better than 61 percent and getting double-digit scoring contributions from eight players. Luol Deng had 17 points, while Carlos Boozer returned from a five-game absence to net 16.
Chicago also scored 35 points off 22 Sacramento turnovers, drilled 12 three- pointers, and recorded season highs in points and assists (34). The dominance is hard to distill into one statistic.
“We are winning games, playing good basketball. The city is going crazy,” Rose said of this season’s success.
Simply put, the Bulls showed they are one of the NBA’s best teams, even while beating one of the league’s worst. Marcus Thornton had 25 points to lead the 17-52 Kings.
“Some of that is experience, some of that is execution, some of that is poor fundamentals and we have to improve in all areas,” said Kings head coach Paul Westphal.
The Bulls had not won 50 games since the 1997-98 season, which is also the last time they won the NBA title.
Chicago held just a 34-28 lead after one quarter, but took control in the second, when it made 9-of-14 field goals and made 10 free throws.
The Bulls scored nine of the period’s first 11 points, grabbing a 43-30 advantage on back-to-back buckets from Deng and Ronnie Brewer. Korver hit a pair of threes late in the half to help Chicago roll into the break with a 64-47 advantage.
It continued scoring at a high rate in the third quarter, making 57 percent from the floor to push the lead above 20.
Joakim Noah closed the period with a dunk to make it a 98-72 contest, and Chicago didn’t let up in the fourth while employing its bench. Omer Asik and C.J. Watson both scored 11 in the frame to help the Bulls cruise to their 13th consecutive home victory.