Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - The diminutive Earl Boykins scored a team- high 14 points, as the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Chicago Bulls, 92-83, in the preseason opener for both teams.
Keyon Dooling and Drew Gooden each went for 12 points for the Bucks, who are trying to build off a 46-36 regular season that earned them the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. However, Milwaukee bowed out to Atlanta in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.
Kyle Korver led all scorers with 22 points while Luol Deng added 16 for Chicago, which was playing for new head coach Tom Thibodeau, who took over for a fired Vinny Del Negro. The Bulls finished 41-41 in 2009-10, but lost to Cleveland in a first-round playoff matchup. Derrick Rose added 13 points and Joakim Noah, fresh off his contract extension, ended with 10 points.
Bulls free agent power forward Carlos Boozer, who underwent successful surgery on his broken right hand on Tuesday is expected to miss the first eight weeks of the season.
With Milwaukee ahead 82-81 with just under 3 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Boykins made a pair of free throws to give his squad a little breathing room. The guard then knocked down four more from the stripe in the closing seconds to seal the victory.