- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CHICAGO — Nikola Mirotic scored 23 points to lead the short-handed Chicago Bulls to a 97-92 win Tuesday over the Washington Wizards.

The Bulls were without three key players — former MVP Derrick Rose, all-star Jimmy Butler and trusted reserve Taj Gibson — but still managed to improve to 4-2 on their season-long seven-game homestand.

Aaron Brooks scored 22 points, while Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who had five players in double figures. Joakim Noah added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

John Wall had 21 points and 11 assists for the Wizards, who ended a six-game losing streak on Saturday with a victory over the Detroit Pistons. Paul Pierce had 16 points and Marcin Gortat added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Wall’s 3-pointer to beat the third-quarter buzzer cut Washington’s deficit to seven at 74-67, and an Otto Porter floater with 1:49 left in the game cut the Chicago lead to three. Bradley Beal then had a chance to tie the game with an open 3-pointer, but his shot rimmed out with 55.9 remaining.

Mirotic then hit one of two free throws before Porter split a pair from the line, cutting the Chicago lead to three points with 29 seconds left. Gasol rebounded a missed Snell jumper and was fouled, hitting two shots to give Chicago the final score with 8.5 seconds left. It was Washington’s eighth consecutive loss on the road.

Nene, who on Monday said he hates the Bulls, was held to no points and six rebounds and fouled out with 5:28 left, much to the delight of Chicago fans. That animosity had only intensified with 8:13 left in the fourth when he was called for a flagrant foul on Noah as the Bulls center was driving to the basket. Pierce was also called for a technical foul during the sequence.

Beal, playing his second consecutive after missing three weeks with a stress reaction in his right leg, had 13 points on 6-for-18 shooting. He played 35 minutes after paying 33 minutes Saturday in his first game since Feb. 5.

Forward Kris Humphries missed his third consecutive game with a strained left groin. Humphries, who was listed as questionable, is averaging 8.1 points in 56 games.

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