Deng feeling "fine" after return

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Deng feeling "fine" after return

Luol Deng returned to the lineup on Saturday and helped the Bulls to a 103-90 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, scoring 21 points and pulling down 9 boards in 41 minutes of play.

Not really a stat line you expect from someone whos sat out the past seven games with a torn ligament in his left wrist.

It says a lot about him as a pro, said head coach Tom Thibodeau. Luol has a lot of physical and mental toughness. He stayed in great shape, prepared himself well, was diligent with his rehab and did all the things that you would expect a good pro to do. I saw how hard he was working on his conditioning so I knew that that part, he would be fine.

"The thing about Lu is not only is he a two-way player, but he plays with both units and he makes both units function well, he continued. We missed him some from that standpoint but in some ways, it was also good. It gave some other guys an opportunity to get more playing time and they responded well and were encouraged by that.

After Saturdays win, Deng mentioned that he originally planned to make his return Thursday night against the New York Knicks, but wanted to stay as close to doctors orders as possible.

I was going to play when we were in New York but if I played in New York Saturday was two weeks after sustaining the injury and I was told four to six weeks, rest it four weeks and then come back, said Deng after their win on Saturday.

I knew when I had the injury, the way it felt, I could recover quick. When we were in New York I was going to play but it got sore. I did some warming up with Scal Brain Scalabrine and John Lucas. We did a lot of three-on-three and one-on-one and it got sore the next day. We wanted to be smart and let it be two weeks.

As for any concern on how the wrist would respond after Saturdays game, Deng went through a full practice on Sunday without any limitations.

Hes fine, now, said Thibodeau. If he has a problem, well deal with it then but he said he feels good.

Bulls fall flat in blowout loss in Dallas

Bulls fall flat in blowout loss in Dallas

DALLAS (AP) -- Wesley Matthews has taken greater responsibility with Dirk Nowitzki out of the Dallas Mavericks' lineup much of this season.

Matthews scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half of Dallas' 107-82 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

"Matthews was the star of the game, obviously," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "He is our leader right now with Dirk out. He really sets the tone for us in the locker room and on the floor. He is just the vocal guy."

Matthews has accepted the expanded role as Nowitzki has been limited to five games by a strained right Achilles tendon.

"I feel like that's one of the reasons why they brought me over here (from Portland). Through this rough patch, injuries and everything, everybody had to mold together. It's almost like we had to restructure ourselves. I think everybody has embraced that."

Harrison Barnes scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half to help Dallas improve to 4-15.

Chicago was coming off a 111-105 victory over defending champion Cleveland on Friday night.

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Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 26 points.

"I don't think anybody played well tonight," Butler said. "We didn't play with energy on either end of the floor."

Barnes powered the Mavericks to a 17-point first-quarter lead with eight points.

"They came out and threw the first punch and kept throwing, and we could just never recover from that," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We did expend a lot of energy (Friday) night."

Dwight Powell (17) and rookie Dorian Finney-Smith (11) had career highs in scoring, and Deron Williams had a season-high 15 assists with only one turnover.

"The biggest thing was we were even (43-43) on the boards," Carlisle said. Andrew Bogut had a game-high 11 rebounds, and Powell grabbed eight.

Neither team scored in the first 2:15, but Dallas went on a 7-0 run over the next 1:20. The Mavericks led 23-6 with 3:17 left. The quarter ended with Dallas leading 29-18. Bogut had six points and eight rebounds.

Chicago pulled within six points three times in the second quarter, but Dallas finished the first half with a 57-45 lead. In the third quarter, Matthews had 14 points, and the Maverick led by as many as 21 points.

Morning Update: Bulls win first meeting with Cavs; LeBron pays off Cubs-Indians bet

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USA TODAY

Morning Update: Bulls win first meeting with Cavs; LeBron pays off Cubs-Indians bet

Here are some of Friday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Saturday on CSN: Bradley vs. Nevada; Illinois State vs. New Mexico

Dwyane Wade, Bulls take first blood with LeBron James, Cavs

Bears-49ers: And the winner is?

Jonathan Toews practices but won’t play vs. Flyers

For Cubs, winter meetings will be all about the hunt for pitching 

White Sox reportedly asking for No. 1 prospect plus more in trade return for Chris Sale

'Quarterback' Rajon Rondo executes Bulls' game plan, logs first triple-double of the year

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

LeBron James pays off bet, rocks Cubs uniform to the United Center

High School Lites basketball roundup: Week 1