Friday , Nov , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Bulls host Kings in home opener

(Sports Network) – The Chicago Bulls show off their new-look squad to the
United Center crowd this evening when the club hosts the Sacramento Kings in
its home season opener.

Chicago made a number of offseason additions to its 2005-06 team which
finished a disappointing 41-41 and was ousted by eventual league champion
Miami in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The most notable
newcomer is All-Star center Ben Wallace, a four-time NBA Defensive Player of
the Year and a key member of Detroit’s 2003-04 world title team.

The Bulls also traded for veteran forward P.J. Brown and drafted LSU star
Tyrus Thomas and highly-regarded Swiss swingman Thabo Sefolosha in the first
round of this year’s draft, adding to the team’s already strong young nucleus.

The moves paid instant dividends for in Tuesday’s season opener, as Chicago
dealt the defending world champion Heat a stunning 108-66 defeat in Miami. The
Bulls came crashing down off that high a night later, however, by suffering a
109-94 loss at Orlando.

Ben Gordon scored 24 points for Chicago and Kirk Hinrich added 14 in the loss.
Sefolosha contributed 13 points off the bench in his second NBA game.

Thomas did not play Wednesday after breaking his nose during a collision in
the second half of the Miami game. The high-flying rookie returned to
Chicago to get a fitted mask and is questionable for tonight’s outing.

Sacramento got its 2006-07 campaign off to a sour start, dropping a 92-83
decision at Minnesota Wednesday in Eric Musselman’s debut as the Kings’ head
coach.

Kevin Martin scored 23 points for the Kings and Ron Artest compiled 16 points
and 12 rebounds in the loss.

Mike Bibby, who had been sidelined in the preseason with a thumb injury, was a
late addition to Sacramento’s starting lineup and contributed 16 points and
five boards. The star point guard was ejected, however, after arguing with
officials upon being assessed a technical foul with under three minutes left.

The Kings swept last year’s home-and-home series with the Bulls and have won
13 of the last 14 meetings between the teams. Chicago’s lone win during that
span was a 107-102 triumph at the United Center on February 15, 2005.

CHI SAC