for this game

Brand helps 76ers stay unbeaten in preseason

Oct 14, 2009 - 3:03 AM By BRIAN MAHONEY AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK(AP) -- Elton Brand's shoulder looked fine and his elbow was dangerous.

Brand scored 20 points in his best game of the preseason, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the New York Knicks 93-85 on Tuesday night for their first 4-0 exhibition start since 1978.

Brand shot 8 of 12 from the field and scored 10 points in the third quarter, when the 76ers rebounded from an ugly second period to take the lead for good. He also had eight rebounds, following one of them by swinging his elbows and opening a cut that required four stitches over Knicks forward Jared Jeffries' right eye.

"That's the way I played when I'm healthy, and I'm healthy, so that's the way I'm going to play," Brand said. "Aggressive, get to the line, hit free throws and cause double-teams, and once the double-teams come, we've got some prolific scorers, guys that can put up points."

Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 26 points, 11 coming in the fourth quarter to keep New York from getting close, while Andre Iguodala added 15 points and Louis Williams had 14.

Al Harrington scored 18 points and Wilson Chandler had 16 for the Knicks (1-2), who shot 31 percent from the field, including going 7 for 41 from 3-point range (17 percent). Danilo Gallinari, their top perimeter threat whom coach Mike D'Antoni called the best shooter he's ever seen, went 1 for 6, falling to 4 of 19 in the preseason.

"Defensively we were OK, just one of these days we've got to make some shots and we haven't done it yet," D'Antoni said. "They're thinking too much about it, they just need to shoot them. I don't think it's a big deal, but obviously you can't shoot 30 percent or 7 for 41."

The Knicks, who hit only 38 percent in a loss at Boston on Friday, were booed late in their first of three games at Madison Square Garden this week.

"We didn't play well. They pay for the tickets. It's part of basketball," Jeffries said.

Brand was limited to 29 games during a disappointing first season in Philadelphia that ended in February with right shoulder surgery. The 76ers were probably better without him because they played an uptempo offense that made him a tough fit, but the 6-foot-9 forward could be an important piece in new coach Eddie Jordan's system.

"He's making himself available in the box, off the elbow, in the middle of the floor (and) at the free throw line," Jordan said. "He's teaching me, too, how to coach him. It's a good thing. I want him to be aggressive so I know what's good for him."

Brand made 4 of 5 shots in the third quarter, when the 76ers outscored the Knicks 32-20 to turn an eight-point halftime deficit into a 67-63 lead. New York never got closer in the fourth.

The Knicks started slowly, getting two of their first three baskets on goaltending calls against Samuel Dalembert. They shot only 6 of 23 in the first quarter and trailed 22-15 before getting their transition game going in the second.

Trailing by three, the Knicks outscored the 76ers 13-2 to take a 43-35 lead on Harrington's follow slam with 0.3 seconds remaining.

Brand nailed Jeffries above the right eye during that stretch. Jeffries said something to Brand about it before he was taken to the locker room to get the stitches. He returned to start the second half.

Brand, who was surrounded by three players, said he was just trying to be careful after he had the ball stolen on a previous play.

"I just wanted to clear some space," Brand said. "I got stripped once or twice and it's like all right, I'm going to make sure I hold onto this rebound. Wasn't malicious, I didn't want to give anybody stitches, but I definitely wanted to get them off me."