While Derrick Rose doesn't appear likely to return, the Chicago Bulls are getting relatively healthy as they wrap up the regular season.
That certainly won't hurt the Bulls' chances as they look to finish with the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night when they host the sinking Washington Wizards.
After losing four of five, Chicago (44-37) seemed to be re-energized Monday with Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson looking healthier in a 102-84 victory at lowly Orlando.
Deng, battling a hip injury which recently caused him to miss two games, may be returning to form after totaling 37 points in the last two. He scored 18 and shot 8 of 11 while grabbing eight rebounds Monday.
Noah (right foot) played for the second time in 14 games, and Gibson (left knee) was back following an eight-game absence. The big men combined for 18 points and six rebounds in 36 minutes off the bench to help the Bulls avoid a third straight loss.
"I'm just happy that my foot held up," Noah said. "I think we're a pretty deep team. We just need to play together and get our chemistry right. The last game is important."
That's because Chicago can secure the No. 5 seed in the East by finishing in a tie with Atlanta. The Bulls own the tiebreaker, having won two of three from the Hawks.
They'll face fourth-place Brooklyn if they finish fifth, or Central Division champion Indiana should they fall to sixth. Chicago took three of four from the Nets and lost three of four to the Pacers.
Whether Rose (knee) will be back for the postseason is still to be determined, but for now, the Bulls are focused on moving forward with their current group.
"You have to make the best of whatever your circumstances are," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Having so many guys out, and then some guys resting down the stretch, gave our guys an opportunity to grow."
Thibodeau's team has dropped the last two meetings with the Wizards, but both were in the nation's capital. Washington has lost seven of eight in Chicago and seven straight on the road overall.
Neither team has scored more than 90 points in this season's three matchups and neither has reached 100 in the past seven.
After showing plenty of promise once John Wall returned from a knee injury, the Wizards (29-52) aren't finishing the season the way they'd hoped. They've dropped five in a row and blew a 17-point lead Monday in a 106-101 loss to Brooklyn, which played without four of its five regular starters.
"I don't care if this is the second-to-last game or not, you've got to have a little bit of pride to play defense in the fourth quarter to win a game," coach Randy Whitman said after his team gave up 33 points in the fourth.
Wall, who had 18 points and 12 assists Monday, has averaged 25.8 points over his last 12 games. He led the way with 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a 90-86 win over Chicago on April 2.