Jan 20, 2011

Augustin comes up big as B'Cats top Sixers

D.J. Augustin poured in a career-high 31 points, including 25 in the first half, and the Charlotte Bobcats snapped a two-game skid against Philadelphia, topping the 76ers 100-97 at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Augustin also dished out a game-high eight assists for the Bobcats, who have won two straight on the heels of a three-game skid.

"It was probably the most impressive thing I've seen so far with this club," Bobcats coach Paul Silas said of Augustin's first half. "I expect that kind of play from him all the time."

Gerald Henderson scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, and Nazr Mohammed added 15 points and seven rebounds for Charlotte, which announced mid-game that forward Tyrus Thomas will miss up to eight weeks with a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee.

Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 21 points and Andre Iguodala contributed 19 points, but missed a crucial jumper in the final seconds for Philadelphia, which has dropped two straight.

"We just gotta get the team to learn how to play the game in certain situations," Iguodala said of the Sixers late-game struggles. "Late in games we gotta continue to know how to close out a game."

Henderson's jumper with 56.4 seconds remaining gave the Bobcats a 94-91 lead. After a Sixers timeout, Iguodala was fouled in the act of shooting a three- pointer, but missed the third free throw to leave the Sixers a point behind. Henderson grabbed the rebound and widened the Bobcats' advantage to 96-93 with a basket from the right side with 26 ticks remaining.

Iguodala attempted a teardrop basket in the lane on Philadelphia's next possession, but the ball clanked off the rim. Augustin grabbed the rebound and was sent to the line with 11 seconds remaining, making both.

Elton Brand connected on a tip-in from a missed Jrue Holiday layup with 7.6 ticks remaining to cut the deficit to 98-95, but Augustin was sent back to the line with six seconds left, and made both to put the game away.

Holiday sank a jumper before the buzzer to account for the final margin.

Augustin, who took over the starting point guard role after Raymond Felton was signed by the Knicks in the offseason, has come into his own while averaging career highs in points and assists this season.

He paced the Bobcats with 14 points in the first quarter on 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and Charlotte held a 30-27 lead heading into the second. Augustin added 11 more points in the second quarter on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and the Bobcats took a 56-50 lead into the break.

After Augustin opened the third quarter with a jumper, however, the Sixers scored six quick points, bookended by Brand jumpers. Both teams went cold for close to a minute and a half, and Holiday tied the game at 58-58 with a driving layup just over the eight minute mark, ending an 8-0 run.

Holiday connected with Iguodala for an alley-oop dunk with 4 1/2 remaining in the quarter to tie the game at 64-64, but Gerald Wallace responded with a short jumper at the far end to start a 10-4 run that gave the Bobcats a 74-68 lead heading into the final stanza.

Game Notes

The Sixers had won the two previous meetings this season, including a 96-92 overtime victory in Monday's matinee game in Philadelphia...Young scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter...Holiday finished with 13 points and seven assists, while Brand contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss...Stephen Jackson scored 14 points for Charlotte.

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