Hinrich sprains fingers

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:15 AM ET

Kirk Hinrich may have caught a lucky break.

The Chicago Bulls' impressive second-year guard suffered severe sprains of his ring and baby fingers on his right hand in the fourth quarter of a 121-115 win over the Raptors last night at the Air Canada Centre.

While the injury may keep Hinrich out of the all-star rookie vs. sophomores game tomorrow night in Denver, he was relieved that initial x-rays came back negative.

"I'm just glad it's not broken," Hinrich said after scoring a game-tying-high 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting to lead the Baby Bulls (26-23) to their third consecutive victory. "To have a broken finger on your strong hand would be rough."

Hinrich suffered the injury late in the fourth quarter, while trying to strip the ball from a driving Chris Bosh.

"If it's as simple as a few days and treatment, it's not that big a deal," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "It's a concern right now for sure. We've got to hope."

Whatever the case, the Bulls have to feel quite good about themselves. After tying a franchise record with nine consecutive losses to open the season, the Bulls head into the all-star break three games over .500.

"I didn't think it would be possible," said Bulls forward/centre Antonio Davis, an ex-Raptor who received the usual boos from the ACC crowd. "It's just a testament to the guys believing in each other and not giving up. It's just a testament to guys believing in the system and each other and not giving up. There is tremendous character in the young guys we have ... It's just great to be around them and see them grow."

Rookie guard Ben Gordon, one of eight first, second or third-year players on the Bulls, continued his tradition of elevating his game in the fourth quarter last night. He scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth, the 14th time this season the Connecticut product has notched 10 or more points in the final frame.

"Ben's had so many fourth quarters like that now that you come to I guess expect it from him," Skiles said. "He hits tough shots and our guys rely on him for that."

The Bulls will be happy to know they have two games left against the Raptors this season. Chicago has won its past seven games against the Raptors.


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