Brand, Maggette Lead Clippers Past Wizards
L.A. Clippers 102, Washington 97
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (Ticker) -- The combination of Elton Brand and Corey Maggette proved to be too much for the Washington Wizards.
Brand scored 31 points and Maggette made key plays down the stretch to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 102-97 victory over the Wizards.
Brand scored 15 points in the third quarter and finished 14-of-18 from the floor. He also grabbed 13 rebounds for Los Angeles, which was the last Western Conference team to lose this season.
"We thought that Elton Brand against Brendan Haywood would be the matchup for us," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We would have quickness on their big guys. We didn't really post them up. We tried to put him in isolation and make the plays."
Brand said he will keep posting big numbers if Dunleavy keeps running plays his way.
"Coach was calling my number," Brand said. "If he keeps calling those plays, I'm going to keep putting them up, for sure."
The Wizards entered the game allowing a league-leading 83.3 points per game and Brand said nothing came easy.
"They've got some big, talented guys who love to bang, so I was having to fight for every shot," Brand said. "I was hitting them, but I had to fight for every one."
Making his season debut, Maggette added 20 points off the bench and made up for a late miscue with some big plays in the closing minutes.
Maggette was called for offensive interference on Brand's layup with 2:05 to play and the Clippers clinging to a 94-93 lead. Caron Butler stole a pass and went in for a layup to give Washington a 95-94 edge with 1:31 to go, but Maggette answered with a corner jumper 16 seconds later to put the Clippers back on top.
"Corey did not miss a beat," Brand said. "He got out there and hit his jump shots. If he was winded, we could not tell. It was as if he had been there for all the previous games."
"Corey gave us some major firepower off of the bench," Dunleavy added. "He came in and got some big boards and free throws at the end."
After Cuttino Mobley's layup gave the Clippers a 98-97 lead, Maggette made two free throws with 23 seconds left, then forced Gilbert Arenas into a double dribble with 16 seconds to go.
Maggette capped the scoring with a breakaway dunk. After the game, he deferred credit to Brand's monstrous outing.
"You know what his game was tonight? It was spectacular," Maggette said. "He did everything tonight. That's what great players do.
"I know it's only our fourth game in, but I think this is an opportunity this year for him to make the All-Star team again cleanly without all the dilly-dally. We just need to keep this up and play together as a team."
Butler scored 19 points and Arenas added 18 for Washington, which had held its first three opponents to less than 40 percent shooting but allowed Los Angeles to shoot 50 percent (41-of-82).
"We didn't play smart and we didn't defend at all," Wizards forward Antawn Jamison said. "Those are the things that we did the first three nights and it's hard to explain why all of a sudden it happened tonight."
Jamison wasn't about to slight Brand's effort.
"Elton was feeling it," he said. "That's why he's one of the best forwards in the league. In my mind, he's a three- or four-time All-Star. He was the major reason why they won tonight. He did it on the offensive end and the defensive end, and he did it unselfishly, too. He just took his time and picked us apart."