Bobcats 100, 76ers 97

D.J. Augustin looked like one of the best scoring guards in the

NBA in the first half. Gerald Henderson played the unlikely role of

clutch shooter when it mattered most.

Those kind of performances may need to become routine now that

the Charlotte Bobcats are even more short-handed.

After learning during the game that Tyrus Thomas would be

sidelined up to two months with a knee injury, the Bobcats rode

D.J. Augustin’s career-high 31 points and three big baskets late by

Henderson to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 100-97 on Thursday


Avenging an overtime defeat to the 76ers four days earlier, the

Bobcats won their second straight game not long after tests

revealed Thomas needs surgery.

”It’s a big blow for us,” coach Paul Silas said.

For one night, they didn’t need their $40 million power


The Sixers rallied from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to

take the lead late behind Thaddeus Young, who scored 15 of his 21

points in the final period. But Philadelphia, like a night earlier

in Orlando, couldn’t finish in its second straight loss.

Andre Iguodala added 19 points, but missed a free throw and a

jumper in the final minute in Philadelphia’s first loss to

Charlotte in three tries. It allowed the Bobcats to jump over the

Sixers into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

”It’s always disappointing when you lose,” Sixers coach Doug

Collins said. ”I texted Michael (Jordan) the other night after

they had beaten Chicago and congratulated him. He said ”Yeah, we

can’t beat you though.”

”So I’m sure Michael reached out to the guys for them to beat

his old coach today. He probably gave them a little pep talk.”

The Bobcats’ owner had to love what he saw from Henderson down

the stretch.

Henderson, a bit player under former coach Larry Brown, has

become part of the rotation though he is hardly known for his

shooting. But he hit three consecutive jumpers on the same curl

play from the right wing in the final 1:40. The last came with 26

seconds left to put Charlotte ahead 96-93.

”It was the same exact play all three times,” said Henderson,

who scored 11 points. ”We call it 3-down and everybody in the NBA

runs it. But it works because if you get two screens it’s hard to

defend. I came off ready to shoot, D.J. made a good pass every time

and I just knocked the shots down.”

After his last basket, Iguodala missed a fadeaway before

Augustin put it away with four free throws in the final 11


Nazr Mohammed added 15 points and seven rebounds as Charlotte

overcame bad shooting nights by Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace

on a day of jolting injury news.

After Thomas complained of a swollen left knee following the

morning shootaround, an MRI taken during the game revealed a torn


Thomas, averaging 11.1 points and 5.8 rebounds, is expected to

miss up to eight weeks in a big blow to Charlotte’s depth in the


”Tyrus brought the energy to the game, blocking shots,

dunking,” Augustin said. ”We’re just going to have to pick it up

and play with energy.”

Augustin provided the first-half spark himself.

After hitting his first three 3-pointers, he started driving,

and it didn’t matter if Jrue Holiday, Louis Williams or Evan Turner

tried to guard him.

Augustin hit 10 of 11 shots in the first half, including a steal

and ensuing three-point play over Williams to put Charlotte ahead

56-50 at halftime. But after Augustin hit a fadeaway to start the

third quarter, he didn’t hit another field goal until icing the

game at the line.

”They were overplaying me,” Augustin said. ”I was coming off

pick-and-rolls and they were trapping me a little bit and basically

not letting me get into the lane. So my teammates came up big.

Gerald hit big shots.”

The Sixers got 12 points and 10 rebounds from Elton Brand, but

continued to have problems making big plays down the stretch. The

Sixers have dropped six straight on the road.

”We need to know how to close out a game,” Iguodala said.

”They hurt us with the same play four or five times and we never


NOTES: With DeSagana Diop (Achilles’ tendon) already lost for

the season, the Bobcats are left with 13 healthy players while

Thomas is sidelined. … Ex-Sixers forward and Charlotte native

Bobby Jones attended the game. … Sixers F Andres Nocioni (broken

finger) missed his third straight game. … Silas said they’re

still running most of Brown’s plays. ”They work. The players know

them,” Silas said. ”We don’t have to have them learn a new

offense at this point.”