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Brand comes back to haunt old team as Sixers edge Clippers

Nov 22, 2008 - 5:02 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Elton Brand was emotional facing his old team for the first time, but those emotions gave him the will to win.

Brand scored 17 points and hit a go-ahead jumper in the final minute, lifting the Philadelphia 76ers to an 89-88 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Thaddeus Young also scored 17 points for the Sixers, who had all five starters score in double figures.

"I am glad that it is over," said Brand, who spent the last seven seasons with Los Angeles. "I know and love those guys and, in the first half, it was strange playing against them. But when we started losing, I said enough of this friendship stuff, let's get a victory."

He helped the 76ers do just that.

The All-Star forward capped an 11-3 run with a jumper from the left baseline that provided the final margin with 58 seconds left. He was just 6-of-18 from the floor but hit the big shot when it counted.

"The play developed exactly how we drew it up," Brand joked about the broken play which led to the game-winning shot.

"Andre Miller scrambling, he got it to (Andre) Iguodala. He lost it and I was wide open on the baseline. It was just playing hard. The team has confidence in me, they see me work and I took the look even though I was missing some shots."

It was no joke for the Clippers, though, more like salt on an open wound.

Brand - the face of the franchise for years - elected to opt out of the final year of his contract in order to open up cap space for the team to sign good friend Baron Davis.

But when Davis signed with the Clippers, Brand had a change of heart and inked a five-year, $80 million deal with Philadelphia.

Davis, who had 18 points and six assists, tried to answer Brand's shot, but his running layup was off the mark. The buzzer sounded as several players tried to tip in the rebound.

"I was looking to turn the corner," Davis said. "I was trying to get Iguodala to lean and bait him to go off the pick and roll. (Samuel) Dalembert came in to help I was looking to draw some contact and get to the hole when all else fails. I shot it around there and I thought it was good."

It wasn't, and round one was awarded to the Sixers. The rematch is on New Year's Eve in Los Angeles.

"It was special and we needed a victory," Brand said. "It was our first time playing against them, and we got the bragging rights so far, although, we see (them) again on New Year's."

Al Thornton scored 22 points for the Clippers (2-10), who traded Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley to the New York Knicks for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins earlier in the day.

"Ultimately, we get Zach Randolph in the mix," Clippers coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy said. "Between him and (Chris) Kaman, you have somebody to go to. He's an excellent rebounder, too. Anytime you can add a go-to guy on the roster, I think that it a good thing."

Kaman had 17 points for Los Angeles, which took a 83-75 lead with 6:31 to play but managed just two field goals the rest of the way. The Clippers led, 85-79, with 3:31 left and by three at 86-83 with 2:30 to play but couldn't close the deal. Los Angeles turned the ball over 23 times.

"We don't have to look very far with the turnovers," Dunleavy said. "Down the stretch, instead of controlling it, we turned the ball over. We passed it up a couple of times when he had good looks. They got out in the open and did what they do best."

"We were up by three and we couldn't get a bucket," said Kaman, who hopes the trade will shake things up.

"Hopefully, it helps us. That's why you do trades. You try to help the team and right now, we're 2-10. I hope everything works out. I really liked Cut and Tim, but it is a business, and you got to be ready to go at anytime."

As expected, not everyone was on board with the trade, though.

"It was very tough for me," Thornton said. "Me and Cuttino were really close. It was definitely tough. I felt it in the locker room and it had a somber feeling."

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