While it wasn’t pretty, a win is a win.
The Bulls (2-1) defeated the Sacramento Kings (1-2) 108-98 but were plagued again by turnovers (18 which Sacramento turned to 23 points) after committing a season high, 20, against the Golden State Warriors on Monday.
“That’s the first priority,” Coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters after the game. “We have to clean up our turnovers. We’d like to be below 13 every game. A lot of them are bobbles. Some are timing and spacing. We also have to sustain our defensive effort.”
Derrick Rose led the team with 19 points, 8 assists but committed 6 turnovers. Richard Hamilton had his best game on his new club, finishing with 16 points. Carlos Boozer pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds to go along with 16 points and Ronnie Brewer contributed 12 points off the bench.
From the beginning, Rose and the Bulls vow to be more aggressive offensively was on full display as their defense fueled easy baskets and they jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first, only to have the gap closed to 6 courtesy of a 9-0 Kings run to end the first.
The game would be back and forth, thanks to turnovers, the Kings aggressive offensive style and foul trouble.
The Bulls committed 27 fouls and the Kings shot 20-34 from the free throw line.
Rose, Joakim Noah both finished with 5 fouls.
The Kings one-on-one play and lack of offensive strategy would be their undoing in the end – even with the Bulls sporadic play – as they would close a seven-point halftime deficit to one in the third quarter before the Bulls would close the quarter on an 11-2 run.
“The more you play together, the better you’re going to be,” said Joakim Noah, the only starter who failed to reach double figures in scoring. “Even though we’re an experienced team that played a lot of games together, training camp is to put everything back into place. And it was abbreviated. We’re still a work in progress.”
That work will continue as they prepare to face the new-look Los Angeles Clippers on Friday at the Staples Center.
C.J Watson 9 assists tied a career-high.