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Hinrich-Augustin combo sparks Bulls to victory over Nets

D.J. August(above) gave Bulls lift off bench played well tandem with Kirk Hinrich who started point guard. | AP

D.J. Augustin (above) gave the Bulls a lift off the bench and played well in tandem with Kirk Hinrich, who started at point guard. | AP

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BULLS 95, NETS 78

BULLS 21 20 36 18 — 95

Brooklyn 23 15 20 20 — 78

BULLS MIN FG-A FT-A O-T A PF PTS

Dunleavy 32:36 5-10 2-2 1-7 2 1 13

Boozer 24:46 6-11 2-2 0-6 0 4 14

Noah 34:02 3-8 4-4 2-8 3 4 10

Hinrich 20:18 3-5 0-0 1-3 4 2 6

Butler 33:17 4-10 5-6 1-5 4 2 15

Gibson 28:05 9-15 2-2 4-8 2 1 20

Augustin 32:33 4-7 3-4 1-2 5 3 13

Snell 23:34 2-6 0-0 1-6 0 4 4

Mohammed 7:25 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Murphy 1:42 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Teague 1:42 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240:00 36-74 18-20 11-45 20 22 95

Pcts: FG .486, FT .900. 3-Pointers: 5-17, .294 (Augustin 2-4, Butler 2-4, Dunleavy 1-4, Hinrich 0-1, Snell 0-4). Team Rebounds: 2. Team Turnovers: 15 (10 PTS). Blocks: 3 (Gibson 2, Hinrich). Turnovers: 15 (Augustin 3, Boozer 3, Gibson 3, Noah 3, Dunleavy 2, Hinrich). Steals: 10 (Augustin 2, Noah 2, Snell 2, Boozer, Butler, Dunleavy, Hinrich).

BROOKLYN MIN FG-A FT-A O-T A PF PTS

Anderson 20:19 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 0 2

Teletovic 18:54 7-11 0-1 0-2 0 4 17

Garnett 19:11 2-7 2-2 1-7 1 4 6

Williams 30:30 6-10 4-4 0-0 4 1 18

Johnson 33:45 5-11 2-4 0-0 1 2 12

Blatche 26:08 1-11 5-6 3-5 2 1 7

Evans 20:15 1-1 3-6 6-13 0 3 5

Pierce 17:33 1-8 4-4 1-4 1 2 6

Terry 23:32 0-2 1-2 0-0 1 1 1

Livingston 14:38 0-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 0

Plumlee 9:31 1-5 2-2 1-3 0 0 4

Shengelia 2:52 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0

Taylor 2:52 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Totals 240:00 25-71 23-31 13-39 11 19 78

Pcts: FG .352, FT .742. 3-Pointers: 5-17, .294 (Teletovic 3-7, Williams 2-3, Anderson 0-1, Johnson 0-2, Pierce 0-2, Terry 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 17 (20 PTS). Blocks: 5 (Pierce 2, Teletovic 2, Plumlee). Turnovers: 16 (Williams 3, Garnett 2, Johnson 2, Pierce 2, Blatche, Evans, Livingston, Shengelia, Taylor, Teletovic, Terry). Steals: 7 (Evans 2, Garnett 2, Anderson, Johnson, Williams).

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Updated: January 27, 2014 12:45PM



NEW YORK — Make no mistake, having two point guards capable of running your offense is a good problem. But the challenge comes in managing their minutes.

So when Kirk Hinrich returned to the lineup Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets after missing the last five games with back spasms, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had to decide how to juggle Hinrich — a starter before getting hurt — with the hot-handed D.J. Augustin.

His solution: He didn’t decide.

Playing effectively while they were on the floor at the same time, both players jump-started the team in a slow-starting 95-78 drubbing of the Nets in a Christmas Day matinee.

They saw time together late in the second and third quarters during the Bulls’ best runs on offense.

“We both can see the floor,” said Augustin, who was signed Dec. 13. “So it’s fun playing with him because we can both push it and either one of us can play the one, and on defense we can switch pretty much any pick-and-roll.

“I can run and spot up in the corners and cut and be ready to shoot the ball and get ready for my shot. So it’s a good look.”

Hinrich started and played slightly more than 20 minutes. Augustin played 32 minutes and, despite coming off the bench, looked every bit as good as he had in Hinrich’s absence.

Late in the second quarter, when they played for the first time together, the duo injected life into the game. They opened up the floor for a Bulls team that had six players (Mike Dunleavy, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Augustin) score in double figures.

Will Thibodeau ever start both? That seems unlikely if the Bulls are healthy.

But their performance Wednesday makes them a go-to combination when the team needs offense. Credit Augustin, who has invigorated the Bulls by seamlessly integrating himself into the system.

“He’s picked things up very quickly,” Thibodeau said. “The quick decision-making has become contagious.”

The absence of Derrick Rose has hurt the Bulls in a number of facets, but none more than on the pick-and-roll.

Hinrich and Augustin won’t magically fill that void. But they force teams to guard the entire floor, similar to what Rose did with his speed.

With both in the game, the Bulls can run the pick-and-roll to either side, which opens things up for big men Gibson, Noah and Boozer.

“It’s a good lineup for us,” Hinrich said. “We can go to that at times. We got two guys that can play pick-and-roll. D.J. has been great for us so far.”

Augustin indicated he feels comfortable in only his seventh game with the team. Thibodeau sees that playing out in his decision-making.

“Just playing basketball,” Augustin said. “No matter who you’re out there with, basketball is basketball. It’s just being smart and making the right decisions.”



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