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.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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