Game Analysis

The Chicago Bulls have struggled much of the season but still find themselves just two games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ll get a chance to gain more ground at home Friday against the Sacramento Kings, a team that has lost 15 of their last 18 games. The Kings have been hampered, in part, by injuries. Center Richaun Holmes, who 13.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game, is out with a shoulder injury and likely won’t return until February. Marvin Bagley has been limited to just 13 games due to various injuries. De’Aaron Fox just recently returned to the lineup and has played in just 26 games. Sacramento has been led by guard Buddy Hield, who has played in all of the team’s games and is averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while making 36 percent of his 3-pointers. The Bulls are also led by a high-scoring guard. Zach LaVine is averaging a career-high 25 points per game and also shooting a career-best 39 percent from 3-point range. Third-year forward Lauri Markkanen is second on the team at 15 points per game, but his numbers have dipped some from his impressive rookie year -- his scoring is down about three points per game and he’s shooting career-lows overall and from three-point range. Rookie Coby White has provided some scoring off the bench at 11.2 points per game while making 34 percent of his three-pointers. The Bulls beat Sacramento 113-106 on the road in their previous meeting this season. Chicago is 22-23-1 against the spread this season and the Kings are 20-23-1.

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