NEW YORK (AP) — Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich missed Game 7 of Chicago's series against the Brooklyn Nets, leaving the Bulls without two starters as they tried to avoid losing a series they led 3-1.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Deng remained hospitalized in Chicago with an illness and was unable to travel for Saturday night's game. The starting forward was tested for meningitis this week and Thibodeau said the team was still waiting for results.
Hinrich missed his third straight game with a bruised left calf. He had done little besides shooting over the last couple of days before trying to warm up Saturday night, and Thibodeau said the point guard was "not quite there."
Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli started for the Bulls.
Hinrich, his lower leg wrapped in ice, said during the morning shootaround that if there was any way he could play, he would give it a try.
The Bulls had missed his defense against Nets point guard Deron Williams after Hinrich was hurt last Saturday while helping the Bulls rally to win Game 4.
Thibodeau also said Robinson and Taj Gibson, who played through the flu Thursday night in a Game 6 loss, were both feeling better.
Even with all Chicago's injuries, Derrick Rose said he hasn't been pressured by anyone in the organization to play. Rose has sat out all season after tearing his ACL in last year's playoff opener, and though he has been practicing, he still doesn't feel healthy enough to play.