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Gibson to start in place for injured Deng

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Luol Deng will miss Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons with a sore left Achilles, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed prior to tip-off.

Taj Gibson will start in his place to combat the athletic Pistons frontline of Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith.

Deng’s status is day to day. The team will have two days off before a stretch of four games in five nights beginning with the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. Thibodeau also noted that Deng was experiencing tightness that hasn’t gone away since he originally suffered the injury in a win at Detroit on Nov. 27.

“He said he thinks he did it in the previous Detroit game and he just had the tightness, and it hasn’t gone away,” Thibodeau said. “He had some swelling and he’s trying to get that down.”

The All-Star small forward had scored 20 or more points in the Bulls previous six games, which was the first time in his career he had put up such numbers.

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