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[March 21, 2016]  The Chicago Bulls have won the first two games of a four-game homestand and attempt to further their playoff push when they host the Sacramento Kings on Monday. Chicago is in a virtual tie with the Detroit Pistons for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with 14 games remaining.

The Bulls posted consecutive victories over the Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz and are hoping they are about to go on an extended late-season push. "Now we just have to focus on getting wins ó you get a nice win streak here and there, you can end up in the sixth seed," Chicago center Taj Gibson told reporters. "You can't focus on everybody else. You have to focus on yourself. The East is tight, but you never know. Anything can happen." Sacramento has been struggling but posted an 88-80 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday ó just its third victory in 14 games. All-Star DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 20 rebounds for his second 20-board effort of the season.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN California (Sacramento), CSN Chicago

 

ABOUT THE KINGS (27-42): Sacramento's defensive showing against the Knicks was a stunner when factoring in it was allowing an NBA-worst 109.6 points entering the contest. The 80 points given up represent a season low for the Kings and New York scored 18 or fewer points in three of the four quarters in a contest that wasn't aesthetically pleasing. "It was not a stellar basketball game," Kings coach George Karl told reporters. "But for us to get a win on the road is always a happy place. This game had a lot of ugly to it, but it is a win."

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ABOUT THE BULLS (35-33): Center Pau Gasol (knee) has sat out the past four games and Gibson stepped up against the Jazz with 15 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double in the past seven games. Gibson's contributions are timely but he made it clear he doesn't care about getting credit for his strong play. "I'm just a player who goes out there and does the right things for the team," Gibson told reporters. "I don't have any hidden agenda. I want to see guys on my team succeed. I'm the biggest cheerleader on the court. If I play a lot of minutes or donít play a lot of minutes, you have to just bring positive vibes."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Kings have dropped six straight games in Chicago and eight of their past nine.

2. Bulls SF Doug McDermott had just seven points against Utah after averaging 24.7 during the previous three games.

3. Sacramento C Willie Cauley-Stein (illness) has missed the past two games.

PREDICTION: Bulls 111, Kings 99

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