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John Lucas III

January 12, 2012 by staff 

John Lucas IIIJohn Lucas III, Tom Thibodeau may be losing players daily, but apparently he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.  On a night John Lucas III made his first NBA start thanks to injuries to Derrick Rose, Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson, Thibodeau fielded a question on who would back up Lucas.

“Lucas,” Thibodeau said.  Actually, Ronnie Brewer played spot minutes at point guard when Lucas sat for all of 1 minute, 42 seconds in the first half of the Bulls’ third game in as many nights. Mike James played the final 40.2 seconds for Lucas.

And when the Bulls held on for a gritty 78-64 victory over the lowly Wizards, more medical attention emerged: Lucas had to go ice down his shooting elbow.

That’s a lame attempt at humor on a wild night at United Center, where Luol Deng gutted out a double-double in 45 minutes, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah were rooted to the bench again for the entire fourth quarter and Lucas flirted with a triple double.

Lucas achieved career highs in points (25), shots (28) rebounds (eight) and assists (eight) to lead the Bulls, who joined the Thunder as the only teams to sweep back-to-back-to-back tests thus far this season.

“Injuries are part of it,” Thibodeau said matter-of-factly. “The next guy has to step in. We’ve been fortunate. We’ve had a lot of guys step in and do a great job for us.”

Rose finished Tuesday’s game after getting tangled with Anthony Tolliver in the first quarter of Tuesday’s victory in Minnesota and emphatically vowed to play afterward. However, his swelling increased significantly overnight on what the team now is calling a sprained left big toe and he wore a walking boot throughout Wednesday.

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