Magic get Branded by Clippers
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Elton Brand poured in a game-high 35 points and
Sam Cassell added 26, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 106-94 win over
the Orlando Magic at TD Waterhouse Centre.
Brand pulled down nine rebounds and collected four assists and four steals
for the Clippers, winners of six of their last seven games. Cuttino Mobley
netted 16 points and Chris Kaman posted 10 in the win.
“He’s just been on a roll,” Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said of Brand.
“We gave him a blow to start the fourth quarter and he was chomping at the bit
to get back in.”
Steve Francis led the Magic with 21 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep
Orlando from losing its third consecutive game. Dwight Howard tallied a
double-double with 15 points and a game-best 15 boards.
Orlando trimmed the lead to 73-70 on a DeShawn Stevenson basket with 3:42
remaining in the third quarter, but Los Angeles carried an 82-73 advantage
into the final stanza.
Cassell sank two free throws and added a basket in succession, giving the
Clippers a 96-79 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
“He hits big shot after big shot,” Brand said of Cassell. “He is fearless. He
is a great addition and I love having him. Anytime we need a big shot, he is
not afraid to take them. He hits most of them.”
Orlando never threatened the rest of the contest and suffered its second
straight loss at home.
Hedo Turkoglu finished with 15 points and Tony Battie posted 13 in the loss —
Orlando’s third in a row against the Clippers.
“I thought we were going to be able to make a run towards the end of the
game,” Francis said. “But as you know, we didn’t start the game particularly
well and that kind of hurt us.”
Los Angeles led by a 25-20 score after a competitive first quarter, then
outscored the Magic by a 34-29 margin in the second period for a 59-49 cushion
Brand led all scorers with 18 points, while Howard paced Orlando with 10 in
the opening 24 minutes of action.
Cassell was a member of the 1995 NBA-champion Houston Rockets, who beat the
Magic in the finals…The Clippers have won five of the last six meetings with
Orlando…Orlando had a 40-38 edge on the glass…Brand sank 11-of-12 from the
foul line, while Francis buried 11 of his 13 attempts from the charity stripe.