Hinrich helps injury-plagued Bulls ease past BucksOct 26, 2007 - 4:17 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- On a night when some of his teammates went down, Kirk Hinrich kept his club aloft.
Hinrich scored 20 points as the Chicago Bulls posted a 97-81 preseason victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
Joe Smith and Luol Deng each scored 12 points and Ben Gordon added 10 for Chicago, which suffered a series of injuries to its front line.
The Bulls, who for the first time this preseason had all of their players scheduled to play, watched as their big men went down starting in the second quarter.
Veteran center Ben Wallace caught his leg on a Milwaukee player in the second quarter and departed the game just before halftime with a left ankle sprain. Second-year power forward Tyrus Thomas suffered a right foot injury in the third quarter and did not return.
Early in the final quarter, Joakim Noah - the Bulls lottery pick in the 2007 draft - drove for a layup before crumpling to the floor holding his right leg. It was reported that he injured both his ankle and knee after he hobbled off the court to the locker room.
All three front court players had X-rays after the game that proved negative.
However, Wallace and Noah had trouble walking around the Bulls locker room after the game.
Both players said they were cautiously optimistic they would be able to play in Chicago's season opener against New Jersey on Wednesday.
Chicago was hit by the injury bug before this contest began. Andres Nocioni, who missed 29 games last season due to a severe ankle sprain, was scratched from Thursday's lineup after injuring his right calf in shootaround.
Nocioni was held out out the game as a precautionary measure and the Argentine could have played if it was a regular season contest.
Hinrich, who connected on 7-of-13 from the floor, drilled 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
The Bulls shot 49 percent (38-of-77) to improve to 4-3 in exhibition play with one game remaining.
Charlie Villanueva scored 19 points and had eight rebounds and Charlie Bell and Desmond Mason each scored 11 for the Bucks, who fell to 3-4 in the preseason and shot 43 percent (29-of-67).
CHICAGO 97 FINAL
Oct 25 10:51 PM
CHICAGO 77 END, 3RD QTR
Oct 25 10:18 PM
CHICAGO 52 HALFTIME
Oct 25 9:38 PM
CHICAGO 30 END, 1ST QTR
Oct 25 9:07 PM
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