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updated: 3/24/2012 11:08 PM

Bulls' Rose improving, happy team doing well

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  • Luol Deng backs down Jose Calderon during the second half of the Bulls' victory Saturday.

    Luol Deng backs down Jose Calderon during the second half of the Bulls' victory Saturday.
    Associated Press


Derrick Rose provided an update on his groin strain Saturday. Rose has now missed six games with the injury, which happened on March 12 vs. New York.

"I can walk kind of normal," he said. "I'm just taking my time. It's my first time having a groin injury, but it's improving every day. Hopefully I'll be out there pretty soon.

"It's way better. My groin was actually bleeding, but now it's healed and it's just scar tissue. It's pretty hard to get that to move around and it's going to take a little time."

So it sounds like Rose is several days from returning to the lineup. Next week, the Bulls host Denver on Monday, visit Atlanta on Wednesday and host Detroit on Friday.

The Bulls improved to 12-4 without Rose this season by edging Toronto in overtime on Saturday.

"All I can do is stay positive, cheer on my teammates and try to do well," he said. "It's hard, but at the same time, I'm happy that they're playing great. We're winning games. Of course I want to be out there. I hate being injured. But right now, we're in a good groove."

James walks away:

The Bulls did not re-sign guard Mike James when his second 10-day contract expired Friday. James made just one brief appearance during his latest stint with the Bulls.

After giving someone two 10-day deals, a team must either sign that player for the remainder of the season or let him go. It's conceivable the Bulls could bring him back at a later date, though.

Casey gets past snubs:

Toronto coach Dwane Casey has had an interesting journey the past few years.

While trying to get back to a head job in the NBA, the one-time Minnesota head coach finished second to Vinny Del Negro for openings with the Bulls and L.A. Clippers. But thanks to that wait, he won a championship as an assistant in Dallas last season.

"I didn't sit around and worry about it, because I love coaching, whether it's being an assistant coach, a head coach," Casey said before Saturday's game. "If I was coaching in college, it wouldn't have mattered because I do enjoy what I do."

Streak reaches season length:

The Bulls' streak of not losing consecutive games was not on the line Saturday, so it increased to 82 games, which is tied for the fourth-longest in league history, according to Stats, LLC.

The record is 95 games without losing two in a row, set by the Utah Jazz from 1997-99.

Bull horns:

The Bulls held a moment of silence before Saturday's game in tribute to longtime Sun-Times reporter Lacy Banks, who died last week. ... Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan, who sat out with a sprained ankle, was due to tie Alvin Williams for the most consecutive starts in team history with 131. ... John Lucas had 6 assists Saturday, the first time a guard has led the Bulls in assists since Derrick Rose went out with the groin injury.

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