Bulls reserve Kirk Hinrich (knee) returns in Game 3 vs. Bucks

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Friday, April 24, 2015

MILWAUKEE -- Chicago Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich, who missed the first two games with a hyperextended left knee, returned in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.

Hinrich entered with 1:32 remaining in the first quarter but played just six minutes and failed to record a point, rebound or assist in the Bulls' 113-106 double-overtime victory.

Rookie Nikola Mirotic was ruled out of Game 3because of a strained left quad and a swollen left knee, but he is feeling better about his progress after suffering the injuries Monday night in Game 2.

"I'm getting better and better," Mirotic said. "Still sore, so I'm doing my treatments, my quad is still really sore right now so I'm just working with my treatments to get better. ... Right now I don't know what is the time [for a return], but I'm doing my best so hopefully I'm going to [be back] soon on the court."

Mirotic is unsure whether he will be able to play in Saturday's Game 4, and he acknowledged his left knee is still very sore after he got tangled up with Bucks big man Zaza Pachulia in the final minutes of Game 3.

"It's sore," Mirotic said. "It's really sore right now, but after the first day, it's getting better right now. I can walk normal. [Tuesday] I took some shots, I didn't jump, but with all the treatments, with the medicine, I think that it's getting better. I'm really trying to be positive to get my mind fresh."

Mirotic, who was elbowed in the head by Pachulia with four minutes left to play in Game 2 and was scrapping on the floor with him only about a minute later, was asked whether he believed Pachulia had made a dirty play.

"Could be," Mirotic said. "Could be. I don't know, but I don't like to talk bad about the other players, but players need to be careful. Of course I understand you should play physical because it's the playoffs, but you need to be careful, and maybe that play was really dirty, maybe he tried to hurt me. I don't know. He knows better than me."

The Bulls lead the series 3-0.