Luol Deng sits for Bulls


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng (Achilles) and Kirk Hinrich (back) did not play Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Deng, who initially suffered the injury on Nov. 27, missed four games last week because of soreness in the Achilles. Thibodeau said Deng did not mention any soreness in the Achilles during Wednesday night's game against the Houston Rockets and is hopeful it's not a long-term problem.

"I hope not," Thibodeau said before the game. "I think he'll be fine. He just needs a little rest I guess."

Thibodeau said no further tests were expected on Deng's Achilles as of now.

"He just has some tightness," Thibodeau said.

Hinrich missed his fourth straight game because of back stiffness.

"It's not much better today," Thibodeau said. "So we'll see."

Thibodeau knows that after losing point guard Derrick Rose to a season-ending knee injury, and dealing with all sorts of other different health issues already this season, his team must try to remain focused on the task at hand.

"It's the big challenge that we have," Thibodeau said. "We have to. They got to try to scratch out wins ... we got to keep grinding, fighting, can't give in."