CHICAGO – Joakim Noah had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Taj Gibson scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Chicago Bulls held off the Sacramento Kings 94-87 Saturday night.
Mike Dunleavy added 16 and DJ Augustin 12 for the Bulls.
Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 26 and DeMarcus Cousins had 25.
Both teams struggled on offense, with the Bulls shooting 40 percent and the Kings 37 percent.
The Bulls, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference, improved to 3-2 on their six-game homestand. The Kings are 2-4 on their seven-game road trip.
Cousins hit a layup with 1:01 left to cut the Bulls’ lead to 88-85.
Gibson responded with a jumper and the Bulls made four of six free throws to seal the win.
The Bulls led 48-43 at halftime before the Kings outscored them 20-16 in the third to pull within one.
The Bulls have won four straight at home against the Kings, the only team below .500 to visit during the homestand.
Cousins scored the Kings’ first seven points of the second half to tie it at 50. The Kings took a 55-53 lead on Thomas’ 3-pointer. The Bulls pulled ahead 64-57 after a 7-0 run, but the Kings made six free throws to pull to within 64-63 at the end of the third.
Noah had 17 points and five rebounds and Gay led the Kings with 10 points at halftime.
Noah scored 12 points in the first quarter that ended 23-23. Reggie Evans was called for a technical with 3:20 left after yelling an obscenity after he dunked.
The game was more competitive than the teams’ previous meeting. The Kings routed the Bulls 99-70 at Sleep Train Arena on Feb. 3, when the Bulls finished with season lows in points and shooting percentage (28.2).