Bulls' Lauri Markkanen Scratched With Back Spasms

Noah Vonleh will start in Markkanen's place.

Cody Westerlund
March 13, 2018 - 6:19 pm
Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen

Mike Dinovo/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen was a late scratch with back spasms for his team's contest against the Clippers at the United Center on Tuesday evening.

The news came about 80 minutes before tip-off after he'd been expected to play earlier. Noah Vonleh will start in Markkanen's place.

Acquired from the Trail Blazers at the trade deadline in February, the 22-year-old Vonleh is averaging 5.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 13.7 minutes 10 games with Chicago.

"I really like Noah," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He's a very versatile player. He's a guy that can stretch the floor."

"He's showing athleticism, the ability to put the ball on the floor. He's got great physical tools. He's got huge hands."

Markkanen had previously battled back issues on two occasions this season -- in the preseason and then again when he missed three games in December.