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Derrick Rose might sit out Bulls’ road trip to Orlando, Toronto

Carlos Boozer takes shot face by EltBrwhile driving hoop Saturday night.  |  Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Carlos Boozer takes a shot to the face by Elton Brand while driving to the hoop Saturday night. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 19, 2012 8:45AM



Tom Thibodeau was asked if there was a chance Derrick Rose will have recovered from an injured groin in time to play against the Magic in Orlando on Monday night.

“I don’t know,” the Bulls coach said. “We’ll see.”

Thibodeau didn’t sound optimistic. It’s sounding more and more as if Rose will at least sit out the upcoming road trip to Orlando and Toronto and possibly beyond. The team will return home early Thursday morning with no games scheduled until the Raptors visit Saturday. That might be a more realistic return for Rose, who has been rehabbing and lifting weights but hasn’t started running.

Rip Hamilton (shoulder) remains out. Several other players are battling lesser injuries, including C.J. Watson, who continues to play on a sore left ankle. Watson scored a team-high 20 points in the Bulls’ victory ­Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

“I’m alive,” Watson said when asked how he was feeling. “That’s all I can say.”

The Bulls have lost 75 games to injury, compared to 61 all of last season.

“If he was playing, I probably wouldn’t be playing,” Watson said of Rose. “They wouldn’t need me. I’m just being honest.”

When asked if the league tried to shoehorn too many games into the truncated season, Thibodeau replied, “It’s hard to say. You have to wait until it’s all said and done and look at the injuries this year compared to last year and maybe compared to [the last lockout-shortened season in] 1999, but that’s for later.”

Hit in the wallet

Thibodeau picked up his second technical foul in as many games in the third quarter when his team was on a 12-3 run.

“It will have an effect on my wallet,” Thibodeau said when asked what effect the technical had. “The officials are all pretty good. I said something I should not have said. Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

Thibodeau’s message to his team after Friday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers was clear: They have to be ready at tipoff. Evidently, his players didn’t get the memo. They trailed 24-11 after one.

“I don’t think I reached them in first quarter,” he said.

Record falls

The Bulls’ loss to the Trail Blazers broke their record of 49 consecutive games in which they have won when leading heading into the fourth quarter. It was the league’s longest streak and the longest since the Utah Jazz won 67 in a row when leading after three from 1997-99, according to Elias Sports Bureau.



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