Brand leads Clippers past slumping Suns
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Elton Brand turned in a dominating performance
with a game-high 34 points with 15 rebounds, as the Los Angeles Clippers
stream rolled the Phoenix Suns, 119-105, at the US Airways Center.
Corey Maggette added 23 points off the bench for the Clippers, who have won
two straight and five of their last seven. Shaun Livingston donated 12 points,
13 assists and seven rebounds in the win.
Boris Diaw netted 24 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the slumping
Suns, who have dropped four of their last six games. Leandro Barbosa netted 19
points off the bench while Shawn Marion added 16 points and 15 boards in the
Steve Nash was held to just nine points with five turnovers in the loss.
Phoenix led 35-29 after the first quarter, but was outscored by the Clippers
30-20 in the second as Los Angeles led 59-55 at halftime.
A dunk by Diaw gave the Suns a 49-38 lead with 6:57 left in the second, but
the Clippers closed out the frame on a 21-6 burst to assume their halftime
edge. Brand netted Los Angeles’ first 11 points during that run and netted 17
in all during the spree.
In all, Brand ended the first half with 23 points and seven rebounds on 9-
of-13 shooting. Diaw led the Suns with 16 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the
floor in the opening 24 minutes.
The Clippers again enjoyed a lengthy run, this time in the third, to increase
their lead to 88-71 heading into the fourth.
After Diaw hit a jumper just under 1 1/2 minutes into the frame, Los Angeles
outscored the Suns 27-10 the rest of the way. Five straight points from
Brand gave LA an 80-67 edge with 2:47 left and Maggette scored the last five
points of the third to account for the Clippers’ lead.
Phoenix never threatened in the fourth as Mobley’s jumper with 6:06 left
staked the Clippers to a 106-85 advantage.
With the loss, the Suns’ magic number to clinch the Pacific Division remained
at four while the Clippers moved to within five games of first place in the
Cuttino Mobley and Quinton Ross each scored 12 points in the win…Maggette
also had 10 rebounds…Nash finished with five assists…Eddie House had 16
points in the loss…The Clippers moved to a season-high 14 games (44-30) over
.500 on the season for the first time since the 1974-75 season…LA shot a
blistering 54.8 percent from the floor to the Suns’ 42.4 percent.