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Jim Boylen sticking with Robin Lopez as a starter

Bulls, Jim Boylen, Robin Lopez

With Wendell Carter Jr. ruled out for 8-12 weeks due to a thumb injury, Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen will give Robin Lopez the starting nod at center in Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, according to a report from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

Lopez, now 30 years of age, has made 39 appearances with the Bulls this season, racking up averages of 5.9 points on 52.0 percent shooting from the field (29.4 percent from beyond the arc), 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assist and just under one block (0.8) in 16.6 minutes per outing.

In Monday’s 104-88 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lopez logged 24 minutes, recording eight points, nine rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal. With the win, Chicago put an end to a 10-game losing streak.

“Our energy and spirit were good (early in the game), kind of gave us momentum into the rest of the game,” Boylen told ESPN after Monday’s game.

On Monday morning, the Bulls announced that Carter Jr. had successful surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. Lopez drew a start at center in his place, and it seems Boylen is confident with him playing the position in Carter’s absence.

Wednesday’s Bulls-Hawks game is scheduled to tip inside the United Center at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Bulls, who have scored 100-plus points in nine straight games, will be looking to keep their momentum rolling.