Brand Scores 37 as Clippers Top Heat
L.A. Clippers 99, Miami 89
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5 (Ticker) -- Elton Brand continues to be the driving force in a dream season for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Brand scored a season-high 37 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked six shots to lead the Clippers to their seventh home win in eight outings, a 99-89 triumph over the Miami Heat.
Brand recorded his third straight 30-point game and his 10th double-double in his last 11 for the Clippers, who tied the franchise record for best eight-game home record to start a season, matching the 1974-75 Buffalo Braves.
"Everybody was just getting me the ball in a position to score." Brand said. "Once I got hot, they kept looking for me. But the most important thing is the team won."
With the Clippers clinging to a 78-75 lead after three quarters, Brand made three straight baskets for Los Angeles before assisting on Chris Wilcox's reverse layup. He capped a 12-2 burst with a jumper for a 90-77 lead with 7:48 to go.
Moments later, Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning scored three points each but Miami could not mount a serious comeback. Cuttino Mobley hit back-to-back baskets for Los Angeles and Brand made a one-handed dunk with 2:06 to play for a 97-83 edge.
"We played a great fourth quarter and at the beginning of the third quarter," Brand said. "We really wanted to separate ourselves and differentiate in the scoring."
Brand heard the fans chanting, "M-V-P," but felt it is far too early in the season to think about that.
"When I played with the Bulls, I had 44 points in one game," Brand added. "I didn't hear M-V-P once."
Sam Cassell scored 18 points and had a season-high 13 assists and Corey Maggette added 13 before leaving the game at the end of the third quarter with a sprained left foot.
"All of our wins are big," Cassell said. "We are a team that is trying to get as many wins as possible. We beat a great team tonight. We got down early, hung in there and put a nice little run together and won the game."
"It was really a great win," Maggette added. "They jumped off on us in the beginning. Elton played extremely well. I didn't shoot the ball well so it's great to have players who can do what Elton did tonight."
Wade scored 29 points and Mourning had 17 with 12 rebounds for the Heat, who were outrebounded, 45-37, and lost for the fourth time in seven contests.
"It's frustrating after losing a close game to Denver (on Saturday), then coming here and not playing well," Wade said. "We played well and were in the game right to the very end. It's a long season and we've got many games left to play."
"As far as their defense, that wasn't really the factor," Mourning said. "I think our lack of defense was the factor that made the difference in the game. We didn't stop their offensive drive. We were scoring and we made enough plays to win the game on the offensive end. We are a better defensive team than what we are showing and we are hurting ourselves."