Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Monday, December 9th
Game 2: Monday, March 3rd

Clippers 94

(9-12, 4-5 away)

Hornets 90

(15-7, 11-1 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 9, 2002

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 20 23 22 2994
    NO 15 20 25 3090

    Top Performers

    LAC: E. Brand 29 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    NO: B. Davis 33 Pts, 2 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Brand's season-high 29 hands Hornets first home loss

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- With his team on the brink of letting a strong road effort slip away, Elton Brand decided to take matters into his own hands.

    Brand scored 13 of a season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers handed the New Orleans Hornets their first home loss of the season, 94-90 on Monday night.

    Brand, surpassing 20 points for the sixth straight game, scored seven straight points after Baron Davis' 3-pointer gave New Orleans an 81-79 lead.

    "I said, OK, they're up now. If I'm open, shoot,'' Brand said. "I'm just getting a stroke going. We have a lot of plays called for me and I'm just getting some confidence.''

    Clippers coach Alvin Gentry said he wanted the ball in Brand's hands even though he had played all but two minutes.

    "He doesn't get much rest, but he's a warrior,'' Gentry said. "When were struggling and really needed a basket, he was the guy.''

    The Hornets, meanwhile, uncharacteristically fell apart in the final three minutes, turning the ball over twice and missing a pair of long jump shots.

    Jamal Mashburn, who started 2-for-16 shooting, suddenly got hot, hitting a 3-pointer and a couple of jump shots between Clippers free throws to pull New Orleans within 92-90 with eight seconds left.

    But Quentin Richardson, after being fouled on the ensuing inbound pass, made pair of free throws to put the game away.

    The Hornets had won their first 11 home games and the loss also snapped a four-game winning streak. The Clippers have won three straight.

    "This is the best we've played against a team of this caliber, especially considering that we played on the road,'' Gentry said.

    Andre Miller scored 18 for Los Angeles, including some key free throws in the final minute, and Richardson added 16.

    Davis led New Orleans with 33 but fouled out chasing a loose ball in the final minute. David Wesley scored 16, including four 3-pointers, and Mashburn had nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. He was 5-of-20 from the field.

    The Clippers started off numerous Hornets possession by playing man-to-man, but would switch to a zone when the Hornets set up their offense in an effort to ensure they had help against Mashburn.

    "It's pretty hard to guard him one-on-one. We switched to zone and it helped us,'' Gentry said. "He made some tough shots down the stretch but you can't do anything about that.''

    The Clippers also outrebounded New Orleans 46-31.

    "We just got annihilated on the boards,'' Hornets coach Paul Silas said.

    After taking an 11-6 lead, the Hornets began to have trouble getting the ball inside on the Clippers' zone defense. New Orleans couldn't hit an outside shot either -- a combination that allowed Los Angeles to go on a 19-4 run and take a 25-15 lead.

    The Hornets scored a season-low 15 points in the first quarter and hit only 10 of their first 31 shots.

    "We think we should have won the game but it was ugly from the start. We had no perimeter game and no penetration to the hole,'' Hornets forward P.J. Brown said. "They just seemed to get crucial rebounds and just seemed to want the game and they got it.''

    Everything went right early on for the Clippers, who shot 49 percent for the first half. Cherokee Parks, who had one field goal on the season coming in, hit a 20-foot jumper and had a dunk that put Los Angeles ahead 36-22. Brand had 14 points in the first half.

    Mashburn started 0-for-7 shooting, while Wesley started 0-of-5. But Wesley hit four straight shots -- three of them 3-pointers -- late in the second quarter to pull New Orleans within 43-35 at halftime.

    New Orleans came back with a 9-0 run early in the third quarter and stayed close until Wesley's fourth 3-pointer put New Orleans briefly in the lead at 58-57.

    Game notes

    Brand fell short of 12 rebounds for only the first time in five games. He had seven. ... Davis became the latest guard to break 30 points against the Clippers this season. Orlando's Tracy McGrady and New Jersey's Jason Kidd have done it twice, while the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Houston's Steve Francis and Sacramento's Bobby Jackson have done it once each. ... The loss for New Orleans also was its first in six games against Western Conference teams.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 90
    FGM-FGA 33-73 (.452) 35-82 (.427)
    3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 9-30 (.300)
    FTM-FTA 26-31 (.839) 11-17 (.647)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-46 11-31
    Assists 19 22
    Turnovers 24 15
    Steals 11 11
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 3 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 25 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    New Orleans
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 29
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1
    Baron Davis Davis
    Points: 33
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1