Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of hustle plays led to a Chicago Bulls win Tuesday night.
It's something they'll have to rely on without two of their stars for the next month.
Nikola Mirotic had 23 points and eight rebounds, Pau Gasol added 20 points and 10 rebounds and the Bulls held off the Washington Wizards for a 97-92 victory.
With Chicago clinging to a 94-91 lead in the final minute, Aaron Brooks lost the ball while going up for a reverse, but Mirotic won the race for a loose ball along the sideline and drew a foul with 35.5 seconds remaining.
He sunk 1-of-2 foul shots to extend the margin to four and Otto Porter split a pair at the other end to again cut the deficit to three.
The Wizards elected to play the Bulls' ensuing offensive possession out and Tony Snell was off the mark on a right wing 3-pointer, but Gasol got position for an offensive rebound and was fouled.
He made both free throws to seal the triumph with 8.5 ticks on the clock.
The Bulls announced Monday that All-Star guard Jimmy Butler could miss 3-to-6 weeks with injuries to his left elbow suffered during Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. The team, of course, was already dealing with the loss of former MVP Derrick Rose, who will miss up to six weeks after having surgery on Friday to repair a medial meniscus tear in his right knee.
"It's going to be the collective effort," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We have to do it as a team."
Brooks netted 22 points to go with eight assists and Joakim Noah supplied 14 points and 12 boards for the Bulls, who have won four of their last six games.
John Wall tallied 21 points and 11 assists to lead free-falling Washington, which has dropped seven of its last eight contests.
"We take too many periods of the game where we coast," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
A Snell triple had given Chicago an 89-79 margin with 4:23 left before Porter capped a 12-5 Washington run with a jumper to cut its deficit to 94-91.
Earlier, a Snell trey in the early moments staked the hosts to a 7-0 spread before they led 24-22 following a quarter of play and 51-44 at the break.
An 11-4 Bulls burst helped them build a 10-point cushion, with triples from Mike Dunleavy and Mirotic finishing off the swing for a 72-62 advantage late in the third.
Wall's 3 at the third quarter buzzed trimmed Washington's deficit to 74-67 after three.
The Bulls snapped a five-game home losing streak to Washington ... The Wizards have dropped eight straight road tilts, their longest slide since losing the last eight games away from home to close 2012-13 ... The Bulls held a 47-39 rebounding and 17-8 second-chance points margin.