THE NITTY GRITTY
DJ Augustin scored a career-high 33 points on 10-of-14 shooting while making all 10 free throws he attempted in 31 minutes off the Chicago bench. Augustin scored nine straight points for Chicago after Boston tied the game with little more than two minutes to play. Joakim Noah flirted with a triple-double (13 points, 13 assists, 8 rebounds) and the Bulls put all five starters in double figures while shooting 52.9 percent (37 of 70), no small feat for a team that's struggled as much on offense as the Bulls have. Rajon Rondo finished with 17 points, 11 assists and 4 rebounds over 38 minutes, but had a team-high six turnovers. Boston put six players in double figures while shooting 46 percent.
The Bulls were up five with little more than three minutes to play and red-hot Augustin looked like he was about to streak to the basket for yet another layup, but Sullinger blocked the attempt from behind the play and Jeff Green -- scoreless since a 10-point first-quarter outburst -- hit a 3-pointer to swing the momentum. With 2:13 remaining, Green hit another triple to tie the game at 96. The Celtics had a chance to pull ahead, but Brandon Bass missed a jumper and -- who else? -- Augustin nailed a triple with 79 seconds to play. He went on to score nine consecutive points for Chicago as the Bulls pulled away.
Kris Humphries (14 points, 8 rebounds over 22 minutes) got tagged with a technical foul late in the third quarter after being whistled for a loose-ball foul. It was Humphries' first of the season (he got one in Sacramento last month, but it was rescinded upon video review).
The Celtics wore black warm-up shirts in honor of the Boston Fire Department and the two fire fighters lost in last week's Back Bay fire. ... The Bulls shot 50 percent beyond the 3-point arc (8 of 16) with Augustin and Jimmy Butler making three triples apiece. ... The Bulls attempted 31 free throws to Boston's 16. ... The game featured 16 lead changes and 19 ties.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (23-50) have now lost four straight and nine of their last 10. Boston is a half-game ahead of Utah, which owns the fourth-worst record in basketball. The Celtics travel to Chicago to wrap up this home-and-home on Monday night at the United Center. They won't have Rondo, who will sit out the tail end, but provide color commentary during the local TV broadcast.