Snell scores career-high 24 as Bulls rout Kings, 104-86
CHICAGO (AP) Pau Gasol continued his strong play with 26 points and 16 rebounds, Tony Snell had a career-high 24 and Derrick Rose added 23 to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 104-86 rout of the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
It was Gasol's NBA-best 34th double-double of the season. He now has 13 straight.
Snell was 9 for 11 from the field, including 4 for 6 on 3-pointers. His previous high was 20 points.
The trio combined to go 30 for 43 (69.8 percent) from the field as Chicago (33-20) won its third straight.
The Kings (18-33) have dropped 12 of 14. Rudy Gay led Sacramento with 24 points, while DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulls, who had a 57-49 halftime advantage, broke the game open in the third, beginning the second half with a 23-8 run for an 80-57 advantage with just under three minutes left in the quarter.
Gasol had 13 points during the run.
The Bulls took an 84-64 edge into the final quarter. Sacramento rallied to trim the deficit to 13 at 92-79 with 5 minutes to play, but that was as close as it got.
Besides trying to turn things around on the court, the Kings had to address reports on Tuesday that George Karl is near a deal to replace interim coach Tyrone Corbin.
"It's been difficult," Corbin said before the game. "With all the speculation and stuff going around ... to try to keep the guys focused on the task at hand and working to get better every game has been a distraction. But this league is a distraction so guys have to understand how they have to be together to have a chance to win in this league and this group of guys have been fighting their way through it."
Cousins also tried to clarify his stance on the team's coaching situation two days after a postgame rant was interpreted as him not being in support of Karl being hired.
"I don't fire coaches or hire them," he told ESPN. "Everyone knows I liked and respected Coach (Michael) Malone. I didn't want (Malone's firing in December) to happen.
"I'm not involved in any coaching decisions right now. I've heard that George Karl is a great coach. If that is the direction that the organization chooses, I'll support it."
Kings: Guard Darren Collison missed his third straight game with a right hip flexor ... Forward Rudy Gay returned to the starting lineup after missing one game with a sore left foot.
Bulls: Guard Jimmy Butler didn't play in the second half after suffering a right shoulder strain in the first half. ... Guard Kirk Hinrich (left turf toe) missed his second straight game ... Guard/forward Mike Dunleavy returned to the starting lineup after missing 19 games with a right ankle injury.
Kings: Visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
Bulls: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.