Nikola Mirotic has strained quad, swollen knee after physical Game 2

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CHICAGO -- Nikola Mirotic left the Chicago Bulls' win Monday night late in the fourth quarter with multiple injuries following scuffles with Bucks big man Zaza Pachulia.

The Bulls said Mirotic has a left quad strain and will be re-evaluated Tuesday morning. Mirotic also has a swollen left knee, and the fear in the locker room immediately after the 91-82 win over the Milwaukee Bucks was that he might have a concussion as well.

Mirotic, who scored eight points in 22 minutes, took an elbow to the head from Pachulia with about four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Pachulia was given a technical foul, and Mirotic remained in the game.

Just more than a minute later, Mirotic and Pachulia got tangled up on the other end of the floor, opposite the Bulls' bench. The two were assessed double technical fouls, and Pachulia was ejected after earning his second technical in quick succession.

While it's unclear when Mirotic injured his knee, he did get caught under a big pile as he and Pachulia grappled on the floor. He was taken out of the game immediately after the scuffle and was looked at by Bulls trainer Jeff Tanaka on the bench. Mirotic headed to the locker room before the final buzzer to get ice and treatment.

"Hopefully it won't be anything serious," Bulls big man Pau Gasol said. "I think Zaza had a couple of bad plays, not basketball plays. He got penalized with technicals, but just got to protect players."

Bulls veteran Mike Dunleavy said he didn't have a clear view of the incidents, but none of the Bulls seemed surprised by the physical play and intensity of Game 2.

"Obviously the ref saw something on the first one, an elbow or whatever it was," Dunleavy said. "And then the second one, it was a loose ball on the floor and it's like a football scrum. You get underneath the pile, who knows what happens? So it was one of those, but I didn't get a clear look at either one of them."

Bulls guard Derrick Rose noted that the physical play in the postseason wasn't something new to Mirotic, who spent years honing his craft in Europe before coming to the NBA last summer.

"It was rough, but actually it's more physical overseas a little bit," Rose said. "So I think that he's used to it. It probably just took him by surprise that [Pachulia] did so blatant, but I know that [Mirotic] will be all right."

The Bulls lead the Bucks 2-0 in the series.

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