Tyreke Evans and the Sacramento Kings pulled off an incredible comeback, rallying from 35 points down in the second half to stun the Chicago Bulls 102-98 on Monday night.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the NBA's biggest comeback since Utah overcame a 36-point deficit to beat Denver on Nov. 27, 1996.
The Bulls led 79-44 with 8:50 left in the third quarter and were still up 83-50 two minutes later before they collapsed.
Evans personally outscored Chicago 9-3 over the final 2:13 and finished with 23 points for Sacramento, which has its first two-game road winning streak since late in the 2007-08 season.
After Sacramento finished the third with a 19-5 run to make it 88-69, Ime Udoka scored 15 of the Kings' next 22 points in 9:32 to cut it to 95-91. That's when Evans, the outstanding rookie guard from Memphis, took over.
Evans converted a three-point play and, after Chicago's Luol Deng made a free throw, scored on a drive and hit a foul shot to give the Kings their first lead since the opening minutes. Evans then hit a 22-footer at the shot-clock buzzer to put Sacramento up 99-96.
Derrick Rose made two free throws to cut it to 99-98 before Evans made one of two free throws. After Rose missed a layup, Beno Udrih clinched the win with two more free throws.
Deng scored 26 points and Rose added 24 for the Bulls, who were booed off the court.
Evans followed Rose to Memphis and both played only one year of college ball before turning pro. Rose was last season's Rookie of the Year and Evans, one of only four NBA players averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, is a front-runner for the award this season.
The Bulls appeared on their way to an easy victory after an almost-perfect first quarter during which they shot 71 percent, committed no turnovers, held the Kings to 39 percent shooting and forced seven giveaways.
Chicago opened the second quarter with a 9-3 run, capped by Rose's driving layup, to take a 47-22 lead.
The Kings pulled to 61-43 on Omri Casspi's 3-pointer with 2:28 left in the half before Deng scored seven points as the Bulls used an 18-1 surge from the end of the second quarter through the early stages of the third to take their 35-point lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulls were 2 for 10 from the floor and had nine turnovers. The Kings, meanwhile, shot 11 for 21, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and turned the ball over only twice.
NOTES: Kings G Andres Nocioni received a nice ovation when introduced before the game. Acquired from Chicago last February, Nocioni was one of the Bulls' most popular players of the post-Michael Jordan years. "I'm fine with Sacramento," he said, "but I miss Chicago a lot." ... Bulls F Tyrus Thomas, who broke a bone in his left forearm on Nov. 6, returned to practice Sunday. Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro hopes Thomas will play Saturday against New Orleans. ... Deng has averaged 23 points while playing the last four games with a small fracture in his left (non-shooting) thumb.