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(Saturday, March 15th)
Final Score: Chicago 94, Sacramento 87
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Joakim Noah stuffed the stat sheet once again and carried the Chicago Bulls to a 94-87 win over the Sacramento Kings at United Center.
Last Sunday in a win over Miami, Noah became the first Bull in 19 years with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five blocked shots. He did it again on Saturday.
Noah finished with 23 points, 11 boards, eight assists, five blocks and three steals for Chicago, winners of two straight. Taj Gibson played a big part as well, contributing 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
"His rebounding, his defense, his playmaking. You can see with the scoring component he's gotten better and better," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said of Noah.
DeMarcus Cousins deposited 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Isaiah Thomas had 26 points in Sacramento's fourth loss in five tries.
"I like how we competed and gave ourselves a chance to win. We were on the road against a very good team so that is all I can ask from the guys," Sacramento head coach Michael Malone said.
The two teams played to a relative draw through three periods, with the Bulls owning a 64-63 edge heading into the fourth.
Sacramento jumped in front when Quincy Acy converted an alley-oop from Thomas 44 seconds into the frame. Kirk Hinrich's jumper put the Bulls back on top, and the Kings trailed the rest of the way.
Chicago endured four ties during the stanza, the last of which came on Thomas' jumper at 6:35. That knotted the score at 72 before Mike Dunleavy had the Bulls back in front for good with his 3-pointer.
Noah guided Chicago after that, hitting a pair of free throws before stripping Thomas and flying in for a layup and a 79-74 spread.
Gibson's three-point play with 2:02 to go made it 86-78, and the hosts did just enough from the free-throw line down the stretch, hitting 6-of-8 in the final 1:05.
Noah has at least 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists in his last six games ... There were seven lead changes and 16 ties ... The lead never reached double figures either way ... Sacramento controlled the boards, outrebounding Chicago 55-40 ... Dunleavy scored 16 points ... Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field ... The Kings hit just 2-of-14 from the arc. Rookie Ben McLemore missed all seven of his tries.
03/16 01:30:47 ET
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