Boozer misses third straight game, but close to return


Jan 20

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer missed his third consecutive game due to a left ankle sprain on Thursday when the Dallas Mavericks visited the United Center.

While Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said that Boozer continues to make progress on the injury, suffered at the end of Chicago’s victory over Miami on Saturday, the power forward did not participate in the team’s shootaround earlier in the day.

“We want him to play when he’s healthy,” Thibodeau said of getting Boozer back in the lineup. “Once Fred [Tedeschi] clears him, he’ll be back. He’s real close, probably the next game.”

Chicago will be back in action on Saturday at the United Center when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit. Should Boozer not be ready for that contest, the team’s six-game homestand—it’s longest of the season—continues Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Thibodeau added he prefers to have Boozer participate in a practice before he returns for game action.

“Once he gets through a practice, you have a pretty good idea he’s OK,” said Thibodeau. “He wasn’t quite ready [Thursday morning], so I didn’t feel good about throwing him out there [Thursday night against the Mavericks] without going through a practice.”

Bulls vs. Mavericks season notes

Earlier this season, Chicago defeated Dallas (in Dallas; 88-83) for the first time since Feb. 8, 2005 (107-100) … Derrick Rose led the way with 22 points, while Taj Gibson posted 17 points and 18 boards … the Bulls trail the all-time series with the Mavericks 29-31 … Chicago is 16-13 against the Mavericks in Chicago and have won three straight over Dallas at the UC … Chicago is 12-18 against Dallas, including 1-8 at American Airlines Arena … the Mavericks have won 12 of the 16 games against the Bulls … Dallas is 18-4 in its last 22 games versus Chicago … the Bulls are 2-3 against Dallas in overtime contests, most recently falling to the Mavs 115-114 on Feb. 7, 2009 in Dallas.

Audio—Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau’s pregame comments (01.20.11):

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