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Clippers pull away in matchup of division leaders

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Elton Brand scored a season-high 37 points
and added 12 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers pulled away in
the fourth quarter for a 99-89 victory over the Miami Heat in a
matchup of division leaders Monday night.

Sam Cassell added 18 points and 13 assists for the Clippers, who
have won two straight and remain atop the Pacific Division.

Dwyane Wade scored 29 points for the Heat, the Southeast
Division leaders despite losing two in a row. Jason Williams and
Alonzo Mourning each added 17 points.

Wade and Mourning, who had 12 rebounds, combined for all of
Miami's fourth-quarter points.

With Los Angeles ahead by three going into the fourth, Brand
scored eight of the Clippers' first 12 points, extending their lead
to 90-77. After Miami ran off five in a row, Cuttino Mobley hit a
3-pointer that restored the lead to double digits.

It stayed that way as Brand punctuated the final minutes with a
driving dunk and a jumper as fans chanted "MVP! MVP!"

Corey Maggette, who had 13 points, sprained his left foot at the
end of the third quarter and didn't return for Los Angeles.

The Heat became the latest victim of the Clippers' defense,
shooting 40 percent for the game. The Clippers' opponents had
combined to shoot 41 from the floor in the season's first 16 games.

The teams played an even third period, each scoring 26 points,
with the Clippers never ahead by more than seven points. Maggette
scored their final six points and Los Angeles took a 78-75 lead
into the final 12 minutes.

Miami played without Shaquille O'Neal, not yet recovered from a
sprained right ankle that has kept him out of all but two games
this season.

The Clippers went retro for the NBA's Hardwood Classics Night,
wearing the orange-black-and-white road uniforms of the 1970-71
Buffalo Braves, the team's original incarnation. Later, they moved
to San Diego and adopted the Clippers' moniker before ending up in
Los Angeles.

The Heat led by 12 points in the opening quarter only to see the
Clippers start the second period with a 13-2 run that produced
their first lead of the game. The lead changed hands several times
before the Clippers closed with a 7-3 run for a 52-49 halftime
lead.

Game notes
Miami F Antoine Walker went scoreless for the second time
in his career on 0-for-10 shooting. ... The announced crowd of
19,060 was the Clippers' first sellout of the season. ... Heat
assistant Bob McAdoo played for the Buffalo Braves and was honored
at halftime. ... The Heat are 12-6 all-time against the Clippers in
Los Angeles. ... A fan stunned the crowd by making a shot from
midcourt with his back to the basket at halftime. Richard Tran, a
22-year-old junior high math teacher from Santa Ana, won a new car.