AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Chicago forward Luol Deng, the NBA's leader in minutes played per game, missed the Bulls' game at Detroit on Sunday with a hip injury.
Coach Tom Thibodeau says the injury has been building up over time and Deng's night off is "more precautionary."
Deng plays 39.2 minutes per game and is averaging a team-best 16.7 points in 70 games this season. The Bulls are fifth in the Eastern Conference and are battling Brooklyn and Atlanta for the fourth seed and a chance to host a first-round playoff series.
Chicago's Joakim Noah, who missed eight games with an injured right foot, and Marco Belinelli, who was out seven with an abdominal strain, each returned Sunday night.