ORLANDO, FLA.Well, theres good news and bad news for the M.A.S.H. unit that doubles as the Bulls backcourt.Derrick Rose, coming off a scary fall in Detroit on Wednesday that led to a left elbow bruise, fully participated in Friday-mornings shootaround at the Amway Center and will play in the evenings contest against the Magic.Its fine. You know if it wasnt messed up, I still wouldnt tell you. Its good, said Rose, who wore a protective sleeve and underwent electronic stimulation, as well as old-fashioned ice treatment for the injury. Its coming along.Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau added, Hes good. Theyre going to get bumped, theyre going to be bruised. If a guy is hurting, we want him to play. If hes injured, we dont want them to play. Theres a difference between the two, he continued, with a slight smirk on his face.Now for the bad news: Rip Hamilton, the other half of Chicagos starting backcourt, is a game-time decision, due to a nagging groin injury. It was tough because when I went back to Detroit, there was no way that I was going to sit out that game and just adrenaline alone, it was like, Youre good. Theres no way I dont care who would tell me how hurt I was I was playing regardless and it pulled during the game, so I wrapped up during the game and Thursday it was bothering me, said the veteran shooting guard, who missed two consecutive games prior to his return to the Motor City, following the teams shootaround. The groin is crazy. Its one of those things that can be nagging. I thought I was good. I thought I was where I felt as though I was ready to come back, but nobody could keep me off that floor anyway. I dont give a damn. I was going to play.While Thibodeau maintained that Hamilton was a game-time decision, Rose perhaps accidentally revealed that his new teammate would sit out of the contest.Its going to hurt us, especially when you lose a player like that, but were ready for anything, said the leagues reigning MVP. We have other guys on the team that areready to step in and play, but well definitely miss him tonight.Backup point guard C.J. Watson, traveling with the team despite his sprained left elbow, suffered in the Bulls New Years Day home-opening blowout victory over Memphis, said that hes making progress, but still isnt ready to suit up.Said Thibodeau: Hes not ready, but hes coming along.
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.
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