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Brand shines in season debut as Clippers edge Sonics

Apr 3, 2008 - 6:00 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Al Thornton had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Elton Brand scored 19 in his long awaited season debut as the Los Angeles Clippers posted a 102-84 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday.

Brand had been sidelined since August 3 after tearing his left Achilles' tendon during an offseason workout against injured teammate Chris Kaman (back).

"To be able to go out there and compete and help us get a win ... that was great," Brand said.

"I probably was planning on playing him around the 16-minute area, and then in that first half, he got competitive and said he wanted to play some more," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "He felt good and the trainer OK'd it, so we did and in that second half he started finding his rhythm. He was rusty to start but he found his rhythm and started making shots and plays. It's just nice to have."

The 6-8 Brand finished 7-of-15 and grabbed five boards in 26 minutes off the bench. He also had three assists and a block.

"We've been in that predicament so many times this season and I'm on the sidelines watching," Brand said. "I don't know if we're going to win, but I just want to give my effort and try to help. To be able to go out there and compete and help us win ... that was great."

Corey Maggette poured in 20 points in helping the Clippers capture their first road win in nine tries.

Seattle's second overall selection Kevin Durant carried the load with 30 points on 13-of-23 shooting. It was just Durant's fourth 30-point performance of the season.

"People take Kevin for granted, but it's tough doing what he's been doing every night, to go out and lead the team in scoring each night," Sonics forward Nick Collison said. "No doubt in my mind he is Rookie of the Year."








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    LA CLIPPERS 102
    SEATTLE 84 FINAL

    Apr 3 12:19 AM


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    SEATTLE 70 END, 3RD QTR

    Apr 2 11:49 PM


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    LA CLIPPERS 48
    SEATTLE 50 HALFTIME

    Apr 2 11:06 PM


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    SEATTLE 22 END, 1ST QTR

    Apr 2 10:40 PM