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updated: 1/25/2014 11:45 PM

Augustin 'keeps fighting' for Bulls

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  • Bulls guard D.J. Augustin drives past the Bobcats' Al Jefferson during the second half Saturday night. Augustin finished with 28 points.

    Bulls guard D.J. Augustin drives past the Bobcats' Al Jefferson during the second half Saturday night. Augustin finished with 28 points.
    Associated Press


This was sort of an "old news" night for the Bulls.

It's already a familiar story how point guard D.J. Augustin was cast off by Charlotte, Indiana and Toronto in the past few years only to become a savior for the Bulls.

Against the team that drafted him with the No. 9 pick in 2008, Augustin scored 28 points and hit 6 of 12 shots from 3-point range.

This was his third game of at least 27 points in the last four. Augustin scored 7 in Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

After a tough loss to the Clips, the Bulls bounced back for an 89-87 victory Saturday at Charlotte. The Bulls dominated most of the fourth quarter, with the Bobcats draining a trio of 3-pointers in the final seven seconds to make the score close.

"We get knocked down, but we always get back up and we keep fighting," Augustin told reporters after the game. "That's the motto of our team: Fight 'til the end of the game, and that's what we did tonight. It's been working for us."

The Bulls (22-21), 10-3 in January, played without Kirk Hinrich for the third straight game with a right hamstring strain. They'll host Minnesota on Monday, then leave for the six-game ice-show road trip.

"This team is great," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We talked about what happened (against the Clippers) and what we had to do today, and that's the best part about this team. They've got great pride. They're going to bounce back. They're going to give you everything they have."

Four other Bulls reached double figures. Taj Gibson scored 13 points, Mike Dunleavy added 12, Joakim Noah had 11 and Carlos Boozer 10.

Noah barely kept his double-figure rebound streak alive. He got his last 2 boards in the final minute and grabbed an errant free throw by Gibson with 15 seconds left to stretch the rebound run to 16. Noah finished with 10 boards and a team-high 8 assists.

Up by 2 heading into the fourth quarter, Tony Snell knocked down a 3-pointer, then grabbed an offensive rebound that led to a Jimmy Butler dunk.

After a jumper by Gibson gave the Bulls their biggest lead to that point at 64-57, Augustin followed with a 3-pointer that sent the lead to 10 points with 8:41 remaining.

The Bulls kept riding the longball. Augustin and Snell drained back-to-back 3-pointers to keep the lead at 11, then Augustin's sixth 3-pointer of the night made it 78-66 with 3:29 remaining.

"It's always fun playing against your old team," Augustin said. "I'm with the Bulls now and that is all that matters."

The Bulls hit 11 free throws to cap their scoring total before Charlotte's flurry of late 3s.

Bobcats guard Kemba Walker is out with a sprained ankle, but power forward Al Jefferson poured in 32 points Saturday.

•Follow Mike's Bulls reports on Twitter @McGrawDHBulls.

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