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- With backup power forward Taj Gibson out of action for a couple of weeks with a sprained MCL, the Bulls Saturday signed veteran power forward Lou Amundson to a 10-day contract. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Saturday Amundson might see playing time against the Nets, because there are aspects of his game he likes. “His energy, experience, and his toughness,’’ Thibodeau said. For Amundson, the Bulls are his seventh team in seven seasons, during which he has played in 308 games, averaging 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds. He played in 20 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this season.
- Five of the Bulls’ next six games are on the road, including trips to San Antonio and Golden State. But the Nets have it worse, with an eight-game road trip coming from March 18 to April 3 because of a long-term event going on at their new arena. In all, the Nets play 12 of their next 15 games on the road. “I don’t like it,’’ said coach P.J. Carlesimo. “I wish the schedule was more balanced. I know everybody goes through this, but ours is coming at a bad time.” The Nets are 14-12 in road games this season.
- The Bulls will once again play without shooting guard Rip Hamilton, who will miss his second consecutive game because of back spasms. Marco Belinelli will start in his place again. “He’s a little better today,’’ said Thibodeau, who said Hamilton will likely not travel with the team to Indiana and San Antonio for the next two games. Forward Luol Deng will play after seeing a dentist Friday to check on his teeth following a late elbow from Spencer Hawes of Philadelphia Thursday.
- Carlesimo said he did not know for sure whether Nets guard Joe Johnson would be ready to go because of the foot injury that caused him to miss three games prior to Friday’s game against Dallas. Johnson scored 11 points in 30 minutes of play but Carlesimo said he was still sore and would need to be checked on after warmups Saturday.
– Kent McDill