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News » Brand gets busy in 76ers' victory

Brand gets busy in 76ers' victory

Brand gets busy in 76ers' victory The 76ers nearly tossed away Elton Brand's comeback performance.

After leading since the first quarter, the Sixers fell behind late and then snatched back the lead with 3.9 seconds left, defeating the Charlotte Bobcats, 86-84, last night at the Wachovia Center.

The Sixers scored the final bucket on a fastbreak layup by Lou Williams. Andre Iguodala made a nice, full-speed dish to Williams after rebounding a missed three-pointer by the Bobcats' Boris Diaw.

The Sixers improved to 5-6; Charlotte dropped to 3-8.

Brand might not have been the star of the win - that title goes to Iguodala, who scored 25 points - but he was at least auditioning for the role.

On a night when Sixers coach Eddie Jordan considered benching him, Brand played his most active game of the season, finishing with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 6 blocks, 3 steals, 2 assists. He also played a season-high 41 minutes. It marked Brand's first double-double since Dec. 12, 2008.

After Monday afternoon's practice, Jordan said he did not believe Brand could play effectively for 40 minutes.

"Obviously Elton was really, really solid for us, and what did he play - 40 minutes?" said Jordan, smiling, in his postgame news conference. "I was wrong and he was right."

Before the game, Jordan said he decided to start Brand - after two days of wavering on changing the starting lineup - because "we want him to feel good about himself."

Jordan's reasoning seemed less about on-court production and more about offering patience to his struggling power forward.

"I thought I was playing OK enough to play in the fourth," Brand said afterward. ". . . I tried to do everything I could to stay out there."

When Brand was replaced for the first time last night, with 10:04 remaining in the second quarter, a polite applause accompanied his walk toward the bench.

Those 14 minutes were, without question, his most productive of the season.

Was Brand concerned about starting strong?

"Of course, 'cause if I didn't, I'd have gotten pulled," Brand said with a chuckle.

Charlotte's newly acquired swingman, Stephen Jackson, scored 26 points, including a trey with 2 minutes, 10 seconds left that gave Charlotte an 82-81 lead.

About two minutes later, with the score tied, Diaw missed an open trey with 8.9 seconds left. The rebound came to Iguodala, who busted up court with no thought of calling a time-out.

"No time-out, don't call time-out, we've got to go," said Iguodala, explaining the team's thinking. "It was good to see how we reacted in that situation; it's not something we've practiced."

"The play was, if we got a stop, we run out," said Williams, who scored 19 points. "Don't call time-out; we felt like we had the momentum the entire game."

The victory probably wasn't as easy as it should have been, but this early in the season, as the Sixers search for some semblance of flow, a win incorporating Brand represented a big step.

"It wasn't us getting him involved, it was him getting himself involved," Iguodala said. "He had a pep in his step."

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 19, 2009


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