Back pain sidelines Bulls' Deng against Lakers
Deng, averaging 14.6 points and 6.0 rebounds, started Chicago's previous eight games this season and all 82 last season, when he averaged 18.8 points and 7.1 rebounds -- both career bests.
Deng had 10 points and seven rebounds while playing 27 minutes in a 92-73 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.
"It's too bad he can't play tonight, obviously," coach Scott Skiles said. "He's another guy we have who has a small chance of doing something to Kobe [Bryant] with his length. But he's out, and we'll move on."
The 22-year-old forward is in his fourth NBA season -- all with the Bulls. Phoenix made the 6-foot-9, 220-pounder the seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft before trading him to Chicago. Deng played one season at Duke before entering the draft.
"I was looking forward to a Lamar-Deng matchup," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said, referring to Los Angeles forward Lamar Odom.
"We had trouble with Deng last year."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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