Hinrich injured his elbow during the second quarter and did not return to the game. He had 3 points on 1-of-3 shooting, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and a block in 15 minutes before departing.
The injury is Hinrich’s third of the season. He also endured a strained groin late in the preseason and missed one regular-season game with a hip strain.
Hinrich is averaging 6.6 points, 5.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds on the season.
If Hinrich has to miss additional time, Bulls forward Luol Deng said the team is prepared to move on.
“It’s tough; Kirk is big for us,” Deng said. “He gets the team going, and he runs the team well. We’ve been there in the past where guys go down and the next guy steps up. I thought Nate [Robinson] did a good job of that; C.J. [Watson] did a good job of that last year. When he went down, John Lucas did a great job of that. I think coach does a good job of the way we practice, having guys ready.”
Hinrich’s loss was made even tougher when forward Taj Gibson was ejected with 3:40 left in the second quarter after arguing with official Derrick Stafford about a loose-ball foul call. Gibson had 2 points, a rebound, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls when he left the game.
“What can you do?” Gibson said. “It’s the refs. The refs run this league. Whatever he calls is going to be a call, but I thought I handled it the right way. I just asked him a question and he T’d me up. And I went to sit down, and he T’d me up again.
“I called him by his name. I said, ‘Derrick, there was some tough calls in there early.’ I just addressed my opinion. I said, ‘You got to watch it. It’s real physical.’ And he just turned and T’d me up. And I said, ‘Are you serious?’ And he T’d me up again.”
Thibodeau thought Gibson might have pushed the situation too far.
“We have to do a better job with that,” Thibodeau said. “When you get one, you’ve got to let it go. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”
Gibson watched the rest of the game in the locker room and felt fortunate the Bulls pulled out a win.
“It was a big-time relief,” Gibson said. “I felt like I let them down.”