Bulls emerge from loss to Wizards with health intact

Bulls emerge from loss to Wizards with health intact
January 17, 2014, 10:30 pm
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WASHINGTON—It wouldn’t be a Bulls game if there were no injuries, regardless of severity, to report in the aftermath.

Point guards Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin and rookie Tony Snell each came out of Friday night’s 96-93 loss to the Wizards at the Verizon Center as slightly worse for the wear, though none of the trio indicated they would miss the second half of the Bulls’ back-to-back, Saturday evening against the 76ers in Chicago.

Augustin turned his left ankle toward the end of the contest and wasn’t in the game for its final possession, swingman Jimmy Butler’s blocked three-point attempt at the buzzer.

“At the end, right before I came out of the game, I shot a fadeaway in the corner and when I came down, I stepped on the ballkid’s foot,” explained the reserve floor general, who had 16 points, including 4-for-6 shooting from three-point range.

“It’s sore right now,” he went on to say. “It was hurting at the time and Coach took me out.”

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But Augustin insisted he was available if needed, something Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t deny.

“We were going with that group, where I thought they were giving us a chance defensively,” the coach explained. “I thought Kirk was going pretty good, and with Wall and the way they have size on the perimeter, it’s hard to play two small guys. But I did think about it, yeah.”

As for Snell, when attempting to save an errant pass from All-Star center Joakim Noah, he tumbled into the crowd and didn’t pop up immediately.

“I think I bumped knees with somebody in the crowd, but I think it was just a little stinger,” said Snell, who dished out a career-high five assists. “I’m good.”

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As for Hinrich, Thibodeau claimed the veteran was fine—“No, not that I know of,” the coach responded, when asked about the point guard’s status—after heading to the locker room during the game and immediately checking back in when signaled from the tunnel by teammate Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Therefore, Bulls fans can cross the fingers about the aforementioned players--Butler, coming off his 60-minute effort in Wednesday's triple-overtime win over Orlando, seemed exhausted, but not in any obvious pain--and move forward believing the team's recent run of relatively good health will live to see another day.