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Brand, Clippers top Grizzlies for first road win

Dec 10, 2006 - 3:57 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Elton Brand took matters into his own hands.

Brand scored 26 points and Sam Cassell added 18 as the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Memphis Grizzlies, 89-82, for their first road win of the season.

Chris Kaman collected 12 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who shot 46 percent (32-of-70) from the field and 23-of-28 from the line as they attacked the paint with the continued absence of Memphis All-Star 7-footer Pau Gasol.

Los Angeles was allowing 106 points in dropping its first seven road games but turned up the defense against Memphis.

"Not to take anything away from (Memphis) because they're struggling right now like we are on the road, but we came out and had a solid game," Kaman said. "We didn't score the basketball like we're capable of. It was a good defensive effort from us, and we were able to come out with the win."

"I thought our guys played well down the stretch defensively," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "(They) closed the game out pretty good."

With Cassell and Cuttino Mobley dominating the ball for most of the season, Brand entered Saturday's contest averaging 18.4 points - his lowest since putting up 18.2 in the 2000-01 season.

On Saturday, Brand shot 10-of-17 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line, showing glimpses of last season's All-Star form. An undersized power forward at 6-8, Brand bulled his way into the paint, overpowering 6-9 Hakim Warrick and 7-2 Jake Tsakalidis.

"I feel comfortable right now when I get the ball in a position where I can score," Brand said. "I pride myself on trying to shoot 50 percent or better from the field. When I do that, I'm ready to play."

Los Angeles avoided its longest road skid since dropping 12 in a row during the 1998-99 season.

"I didn't think we would go (winless) on the road, so it was good to get," Dunleavy said. "As something like this builds into a streak of some kind, it's just not a positive thing. It can play mentally on you, and this gets you off the schneid."

After Friday's 111-82 blowout loss at San Antonio, Los Angeles came back one night later with a lot more energy.

"It's good to get one on the road, especially after (Friday night's) tough loss," Brand said. "Last year, we were just about .500 on the road, so we have got a long way to try to get to that mark again."

Rumored to be traded to Philadelphia with teammate Corey Maggette for superstar Allen Iverson, reserve point guard Shaun Livingston dished out nine assists.

"I thought Shaun's nine assists to one turnover was a great number," Dunleavy said. "Plus, a couple we missed on finishes or he would have been better for us."

Mike Miller had 19 points and 13 rebounds and reserve Chucky Atkins added 10 points for the Grizzlies, who shot 42 percent (28-of-66) from the field and just 21-of-34 from the line. Memphis has dropped five of its last six contests.

"We missed free throws and did things that add up to losing games," Atkins said. "We missed 13 free throws and only lost by seven or eight points. That's what happens.

"This is the NBA. You have nights like that. Chalk it up, suck it up and get ready for Monday's game against New Jersey."

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