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Nocioni leads Bulls past Bucks

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Associated Press
October 25, 2008
— Andres Nocioni scored nine of his 26 points in overtime, and Kirk Hinrich had 25 points to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 112-104 on Friday night in the exhibition finale for both teams.

The game was Bucks coach Scott Skiles first visit to the United Center since he was fired by the Bulls last season. The teams will meet again in Chicago on Tuesday night in the regular-season opener.


Derrick Rose, the former Memphis star drafted first overall by the Bulls, left in the first quarter because of a strained right hip flexor, but is expected to play Tuesday night in the regular-season opener. He was hurt driving for a layup.


"It's not a big deal at all," said Rose, who left the court for the balance of the first half. "I could have played in the second half, but they told me to sit down."


Coach Vinny Del Negro decided to be cautious.


"(Rose) wanted to go back in," Del Negro said. "But there's no sense taking a risk there. We got him some rest. He'll be fine."


Chicago's Ben Gordon (jammed left big toe), guard Larry Hughes (dislocated right shoulder) and forward Luol Deng (sore right toe) missed the game. "It has been hard to evaluate our rotation because of all the injuries," Del Negro said.


Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut sat out because of a sprained left ankle.


The Bulls (4-4) led 54-35 at halftime and 78-66 entering the final quarter, but the Bucks (1-1) used a 20-4 run to take an 86-82 lead.


Chicago tied it at 95 tie on Joakim Noah's rebound tip-in.


Thabo Sefolosha added 18 points for the Bulls.


Richard Jefferson led Milwaukee with 21 points.


"We've had a unique preseason with a game in China and back-to-backs with a lot of new guys, as well as a new coach and system," Jefferson said. "We just need to stay focused and we'll be fine."



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