NBA Playoffs: Bulls' Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso out Game 5 vs. Bucks

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Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso out Game 5 vs. Bucks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bulls' path to becoming the 14th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 playoff series deficit just grew thornier.

Zach LaVine (health and safety protocols) and Alex Caruso (concussion) are both officially out for Wednesday's win-or-go-home Game 5 against the Bucks in Milwaukee, the Bulls announced via the injury report.

LaVine landed in protocols for the second time this season and third time in the last 12 months Tuesday morning. He was tested after experiencing mild symptoms, according to Billy Donovan.

Caruso, meanwhile, landed in the league's concussion protocols after taking an inadvertent forearm to the face from Jevon Carter during the Bulls' Game 4 loss in Chicago.

LaVine was the Bulls' second-leading scorer during the regular season, and averaged 19 points, 6 assists and 5.3 rebounds in the first four games of the Bucks series. Caruso is the Bulls' defensive anchor, especially in the absence of Lonzo Ball, and averaged 6.3 points, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1 block in the first four games.

Now, neither will be on the court as the Bulls face elimination for the first time this season.

"It's part of sports. I'm sure if you look out throughout the NBA, I'm sure a lot of teams have gone through a lot of different ups and downs and injuries and COVID stuff. So you just have to deal with it. At no point did we feel sorry for ourselves, or will we feel sorry for ourselves. It is what it is," Nikola Vučević said after the Bulls' Tuesday practice. "For us we just have to go out there and compete. It's an opportunity for somebody else to do it."

We will see if the Bulls are up for the challenge.

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