So who wants to trade Derrick Rose and make D.J. Augustin the full-time starter going forward?! Just kidding of course, but Augustin's play over the last couple weeks has truly been extraordinary, and he was at it again on Saturday night in Charlotte. Augustin torched his former team to the tune of 28 points, with 15 coming in the fourth quarter as the Bulls held off the Bobcats, 89-87.
Augustin went 6-of-12 from three, knocking down three of those bombs in the final frame. Tony Snell also hit two threes in the fourth quarter, part of a 32-point explosion that came after a generally putrid first three quarters. I'm not going to lie, when I first turned on the game and saw the score was 75-64 with five minutes to go, I for some reason assumed it was the third quarter and the Bulls were actually playing really well offensively. Then I finally realized it was the fourth. Whoops.
The Bulls' offensive struggles allowed the Bobcats to hang around despite some woeful offense of their own. Kemba Walker was out again with an injury, and Al Jefferson was the only Bobcats starter to really get anything going consistently, pouring in a game-high 32 points on 15-of-26 shooting. Old friend Jannero Pargo did show how he has somehow been able to stick around in the league for seemingly forever, scoring 15 points off the bench and knocking down 3-of-4 from deep. 10 of those 15 points came in the fourth quarter, and the Bobcats never really went away, which made the last few minutes feel like an eternity. Ben Gordon wasn't amused:
Joakim Noah flirted with a triple-double yet again, notching 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. It looked like Noah was going to miss out on that 16th straight game with double-digit rebounds, but after some Bobcat (Anthony Tolliver, I think?) fell down trying to secure a Taj Gibson missed free throw, the ball squirted over to Noah for that 10th board.
Nothing really new to report on Jimmy Butler Watch. Butler stunk it up offensively again in 42 minutes, making just 2-of-7 shots and missing both threes he attempted. Four steals, though!
The Bulls are now back over .500 again with a bunch of Western Conference foes ahead on the schedule. The Bobcats remain eighth in the Eastern Conference, so the Bulls are still in line to get their pick.