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
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.”