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Saturday, December 21, 2013
Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler out vs. Cavs

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls injured starters Luol DengJimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich did not play in Saturday night's 100-84 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It marked the second consecutive game missed by Deng, who said after Thursday's game in Oklahoma City that he would try to come back from his injured Achilles by Christmas Day at the earliest.

Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler suffered a sprained ankle Thursday, but tests showed no major damage.

Deng said he would wear a walking boot to help stabilize the injured area. The good news for the Bulls is that they only play two games in the next week after Saturday night's affair.

"We'll see how [Deng] feels," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game. "We just finished up a stretch of seven [games] in ten [nights], so it will be good to have some practice time. That's what we need."

For Butler, who exited Thursday's game in the first half due to a sprained right ankle and left the arena on crutches, the news is better than expected. Tests showed no major damage, and he is hopeful to be back on the floor soon.

"It's just unfortunate for me, man," Butler said. "Things just can't go my way. ... I guess this is part of the game also -- part of being an NBA player."

Butler missed almost a month because of turf toe. He said this is the first time in his career that he has suffered an ankle sprain.

"I don't know what's wrong with my feet this year to tell you the truth," he said.

Hinrich, who has missed four straight games because of a back issue, was replaced in the starting lineup by D.J. Augustin.