Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan out vs. New Orleans Pelicans with mild groin strain

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan missed Thursday night's 126-109 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans due to a mild groin strain.

DeRozan had recently been feeling some tightness in his groin, and it got worse during the Bulls' loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, Bulls coach Billy Donovan said before Thursday's game. An MRI revealed a mild strain.

Donovan said the team did not believe the injury was severe, but he wanted to exercise caution.

"DeMar knows his body better than anybody else," Donovan said before Thursday's game. "I think he felt like, 'OK, this could get into something else a little bit more significant if I don't take care of this.'"

"We just don't want it to turn into something bigger."

This will be just the fifth game DeRozan, 32, has missed this season and his first since sitting out the back end of a back-to-back on Jan. 24. He is averaging a career-high 27.6 points on 50.5% shooting with 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

Donovan said the Bulls expect to have a better idea of DeRozan's status Friday.

Chicago is in the midst of a five-game road trip, with games in Cleveland, New York and Washington to follow. The Bulls have dropped five of their past six games and are 3-10 in their past 13 contests.