BOSTON (AP) — D.J. Augustin scored 15 of his career-high 33 points in the fourth quarter and the Chicago Bulls held off the slumping Boston Celtics 107-102 on Sunday night.
Augustin was perfect from the foul line on 10 attempts and was 10-for-14 from the floor, including a 3-pointer late in the period to break a 96-all tie and give Chicago the lead for good. He followed that with six straight free throws to help the Bulls close out the Celtics.
Augustin’s previous scoring high 31 points against Philadelphia in January 2011.
Joakim Noah finished with 13 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who will try for a three-game season sweep against the Celtics on Monday night in Chicago.
Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy added 11 points apiece as all five Chicago starters scored in double figures.
Chicago made 25 of 31 foul shots while Boston was just 12 for 16 from the line.
Rajon Rondo had 17 points and 11 assists for Boston, which has lost four straight and nine of 10.
Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger scored 16 points each for Boston and Sullinger pulled down 10 rebounds. Kris Humphries added 14 points and eight rebounds as Boston outrebounded Chicago 39-31, but could not stop Augustin in the fourth.
The Celtics kept the Bulls from making a run early in the fourth quarter, matching nearly every basket and continuing to outrebound Chicago. Boston grabbed two offensive rebounds on one possession and Brandon Bass put back the second to give the Celtics an 87-86 lead.
Noah drew a foul on the other end and hit both free throws, Hinrich added a 3-pointer and Augustin made a reverse layup to put the Bulls up 93-87 with 4:36 left.
Rondo answered with a 3-pointer for Boston, then Sullinger blocked a layup attempt by Augustin to set up a fast-break 3-pointer by Green to pull Boston back within a basket. Green hit again from beyond-the-arc after a foul shot by Noah and the score was tied at 96 with 2:13 remaining.
Augustin broke the tie with his third 3-pointer of the game, then made a steal on an inbounds play that all but ended Boston’s chances. Augustin drew a foul and made both free throws, then added four more from the line as the Celtics were forced to foul.
Augustin’s two free throws with 22 seconds left put Chicago up 105-99 and the margin was too much for Boston to overcome.
Notes: Carlos Boozer received a technical and clear-path foul when he grabbed Humphries from behind on his way to an uncontested trip to the basket. … Humphries tumbled to the court after Boozer let go and was quickly issued the technical. … Humphries was called for a technical in the third period for a shove on Noah in the lane while both were setting up for a rebound. … The Bulls avoided back-to-back losses for the entire month of March. Chicago last lost consecutive games Feb. 1 and 3.
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