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updated: 1/4/2014 11:03 PM

Sore knee sidelines Bulls' Boozer

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Carlos Boozer began his Bulls career on the injured list, the result of a broken hand early in the 2010-11 season.

Since that injury healed, though, Boozer played in 235 of the next 246 regular-season games for the Bulls. Until Saturday night.

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Boozer did not play against the Atlanta Hawks because of a sore right knee. The injury happened sometime during Thursday's win over Boston and kept him out of Friday's practice.

Boozer had a reputation of being injury prone before joining the Bulls. He missed more than 30 games because of injury three times in six seasons with Utah.

Asked if this could be a long-term issue, coach Tom Thibodeau said, "I don't think so. It's a little better today. We'll see where he is tomorrow. He had an MRI. It came back negative. We're hopeful that it's not anything serious."

Boozer scored 16 points against the Celtics but hasn't been playing particularly well based on his own standards. He averaged 13.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and shot 40.6 percent from the field in December. Boozer's career field-goal percentage is .526.

Partners in patience:

Before Saturday's game, Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer talked about owing a debt to Tom Thibodeau.

Budenholzer spent 19 years as an assistant in San Antonio before getting his first chance at a head-coaching job this season. Thibodeau had a slightly longer wait before getting his first head-coaching job with the Bulls in 2010.

"I think what Thibs has done here, the success he's had, gives guys like me and (Charlotte's) Steve Clifford a chance for somebody to say, 'We believe in you.' So I'm very appreciative of what Thibs has done here," Budenholzer said. "If he can share any tricks with me, I'd appreciate it."

The Hawks coach claimed he never got frustrated with the long wait, since he was in a pretty good spot.

"I had a very, very good job," he said. "Being an assistant coach in the NBA with a team that's having a lot of success is something I enjoyed. I feel fortunate to now have this opportunity."

Hawks have double downer:

Atlanta was coming off a tough home loss Friday. Clinging to a 2-point lead against Golden State, Hawks center Pero Antic double-teamed Steph Curry on the game's final possession. The problem was, that left Andre Iguodala unguarded, and he drained a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

"I think he just made an instinctive play," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Steph Curry is one of the best players in our league. Getting the ball out of his hands is something you could argue is a good idea."

Bull horns:

Luol Deng drained a half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Bulls a 50-45 halftime lead. The last time the Hawks played in Chicago (Jan. 14, 2012), they scored just 58 points, second lowest in franchise history. Atlanta dropped to 2-3 since losing center Al Horford for the season with a torn pectoral muscle.

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