Clippers Snap Magicís Streak
Posted Dec 4 2006 3:10AM
Los Angeles 116, Orlando 91
Los Angeles, Dec. 3 (AP) -- Elton Brand helped the Los Angeles Clippers take back some of their turf.
Brand scored 31 points Sunday night and the Clippers rebounded from a home loss one night earlier to the crosstown rival Lakers by beating an Orlando Magic team that was treating every floor as its own.
Brand shot 12-for-14 from the field in a 116-91 Clippers' victory that snapped the Magic's seven-game winning streak.
``We had to reclaim the home court,'' Brand said. ``Especially against the number one team in the East, who had won some games on the road already. They were very hot.''
Tim Thomas added 20 points, shooting 5-for-7 from 3-point range for the Clippers.
It was the biggest victory margin of the season for the Clippers (8-8), and the Magic's worst losing margin.
``I feel like for 48 minutes we played a really good game, maybe our best game of the year,'' Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said.
``We didn't come out prepared to play tonight,'' said the Magic's Keyon Dooling. ``They beat us in every facet of the game.''
Orlando (13-5), which still has the best record in the Eastern Conference, was 3-0 on the current trip and had won four straight on the road overall. The Magic have lost just twice in 12 games.
Their four-game road winning streak had matched the second longest in team history and included a win over the West-leading Utah Jazz and a last-second victory over the Portland Trailblazers.
The Clippers led by 17 at halftime, and the Magic were within single digits just twice in the second half.
Brand, who had 17 points in the first quarter and 21 in the first half, hit jumpers from all over the floor and finished two points short of his season high.
``Something had to give, something had to change, so I had to be aggressive,'' Brand said. ``This is the first step in getting back our winning ways.''
Dunleavy said that the Brand he saw Sunday night reminded him of the player that led his team to its best-ever season in Los Angeles last year.
``He's got a lot of bounce back in his step and he looked confident in his shot,'' Dunleavy said. ``That's what we got used to seeing last year.''
But Thomas then made 3-pointers at both ends of a 14-6 run that put the Clippers up 85-69 with 3:33 to go in the third quarter.
``To our credit we came out in the third quarter and played much harder,'' Orlando coach Brian Hill said, ``but they continued to make shots.''
It was never close in the fourth quarter.
Cassell hit a running jumper with 5:48 to play that put the Clippers up 19 and Brand made a free throw to take the lead to 20.
Cassell, the Clippers' leading scorer, was left out of the starting lineup for the first time since opening night.
He came into a close game late in the first quarter and quickly took control.
Cassell had three assists and four points in an 18-11 run to open the second quarter as the Clippers took a 15-point lead 53-38 with 5:58 to play in the half.
Brand hit a 16-foot jumper with 2:10 to play to give the Clippers an 18-point lead, their biggest of the half.
Notes: The Clippers have won four straight against the Magic. ... The Magic will complete their longest trip of the season with games in Sacramento on Monday night and Indiana on Wednesday night.
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