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CLIPPER REPORT

A Bad One for Brand

March 16, 2004|Jerry Crowe | Times Staff Writer

Elton Brand made 63% of his shots and averaged 20 points, 15 rebounds, 4.5 assists and three blocked shots in a pair of Clipper victories over the Dallas Mavericks in December. His commanding 22-point, 20-rebound, six-assist effort keyed a 115-105 win Dec. 20 at Dallas, the Clippers' most recent victory on the road over a Western Conference opponent.

But in two losses to the Mavericks over the last three weeks, Brand averaged 6.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and one block, making 23.5% of his shots.

He scored eight points Feb. 24 at Dallas and five Sunday at Staples Center, the only two times this season he has failed to reach double figures.

"It was a grind for him out there," Coach Mike Dunleavy said after Sunday's game, in which Brand missed nine of 11 shots and got to the foul line only once, making one of two free throws. "He just couldn't get his shots to fall."

Said Maverick Coach Don Nelson, whose team is not known for its defense: "We played him aggressively and we were able to contain him."

Staff Writer Lonnie White contributed to this story.

TONIGHT

at Phoenix, 6 PST, Fox Sports Net 2

Site -- America West Arena.

Radio -- XTRA (690/1150).

Records -- Clippers 26-40, Suns 22-45.

Record vs. Suns -- 1-1.

Update -- Chris Wilcox will not play after suffering a strained left Achilles' tendon in Sunday's loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Clippers' fourth consecutive defeat and eighth in nine games. Since Jan. 4, when they reached a high point in their season with a victory over the Lakers, the Clippers are 12-24, more losses than all but one other NBA team over the same stretch.

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