Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 2/10

Game 1: Friday, February 10th
Game 2: Sunday, March 5th
Game 3: Thursday, March 23rd
Game 4: Tuesday, April 18th

Grizzlies 87

(26-23, 11-15 away)

Clippers 91

(30-18, 17-7 home)

    Coverage: FSS

    7:30 PM ET, February 10, 2006

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MEM 27 27 21 1287
    LAC 26 19 22 2491

    Top Performers

    Mem: P. Gasol 16 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Blk

    LAC: E. Brand 44 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Brand dominant as Clippers get hard-fought home win

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Elton Brand couldn't have picked a better time to have one of his best games in the NBA.

    Brand tied a career high with 44 points in his first game since being named to the All-Star game, and the Los Angeles Clippers celebrated Mike Dunleavy's 1,000th regular-season game as an NBA head coach with a 91-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

    "I remember my first game. It was a loss in San Antonio. I got home, I was bummed out and I went to dinner," Dunleavy said. "It's good to still be around. I hope I'm around for another thousand games. I think I'll be able to coach as long as I want to coach and as long as I enjoy doing it."

    Dunleavy's first game as an NBA head coach was Nov. 3, 1990, with the Lakers. His record during his 13½ seasons as a coach is 493-507, including stints with Milwaukee and Portland -- where he was Coach of the Year in 1999.

    "I didn't really have an interest in coaching because the I felt security's not great and the money's not great," Dunleavy said. "My plan was to work on Wall Street, but I had opportunities to coach."

    The Brooklyn native spent two years working for Merrill Lynch before his former coach in Milwaukee, Don Nelson, lured him back into the NBA in 1986 and made him one of his assistant coaches with the Bucks -- after about 20 attempts.

    "Jerry Krause, the general manager in Chicago, called me about becoming an assistant coach, but my real conversations after that were only with Nelson," Dunleavy recalled. "Nellie's the one who just kept after me and after me over the years every time he had an opening. He told me, `You're really stupid. You should be coaching. You're missing the boat here. Are you out of your mind?'

    "One night I was in New Jersey watching one of their games. I had dinner with him afterwards and he said, `All right, (Rick) Majerus is going to Ball State. You want the job?' So I had a talk with my wife and said, `You know, I think I really want to do this."

    Chris Kaman had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers (30-18), whose 10th victory in 12 games kept them two games behind first-place Phoenix in the Pacific Division. This is the fastest the franchise has reached the 30-win mark since the 1974-75 season, when the Buffalo Braves started 30-16 under coach Jack Ramsay.

    The Grizzlies lost their fifth consecutive game, their longest skid this season. They have dropped 12 of their last 15 games and six straight on the road.

    "We are just not able to finish games right now," Pau Gasol said. "We are not playing the way we should down the stretch. It might be a confidence thing."

    Shane Battier, Brand's former roommate at Duke, scored all of his 16 points for Memphis in the first quarter and missed his final eight shots. Gasol also had 16 points, but reserve guard Mike Miller missed the game because of a sprained left ankle he injured in the third quarter of Wednesday's loss at Phoenix.

    Down by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, the Clippers opened the fourth with a 10-2 run that pulled them even at 77-all. Brand scored eight points during the rally, including a 14-footer that tied the score with 7:50 to play.

    "It's one of my best games -- definitely up there," said Brand, who also had 44 points on April 13, 2000, against Washington. "We didn't want to come off our (4-2) road trip and be disappointed with our effort at home."

    The Grizzlies went more than 5½ minutes between field goals in the fourth quarter, while Kaman and Brand converted layups 54 seconds apart to give the Clippers an 85-82 lead with 2:38 left. Kaman made two free throws for a five-point margin before Eddie Jones' 3-pointer ended the Grizzlies' shooting drought and cut the Clippers' lead to 87-85 with 40 left.

    Brand responded with a 12-footer, and Sam Cassell's two free throws wrapped it up with 4.1 seconds on the clock.

    "I thought we played good enough to win, but Elton willed them to victory," Battier said.

    Game notes

    The Clippers are 95-117 since Dunleavy took the job. ... Battier's 16-point first quarter equaled the highest-scoring quarter by a Memphis player this season. Gasol did it twice, both times on the road. ... The Clippers have won 18 straight games in which they allowed fewer than 90 points, including three last season. ... Los Angeles committed eight of the game's first nine turnovers and finished with 15, compared to just six by Memphis. In their four meetings last season, the Clippers committed 27 more turnovers than the Grizzlies while losing three of four.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 91
    FGM-FGA 35-91 (.385) 34-71 (.479)
    3PM-3PA 6-22 (.273) 0-1 (.000)
    FTM-FTA 11-16 (.688) 23-24 (.958)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-35 11-44
    Assists 19 21
    Turnovers 6 15
    Steals 7 4
    Blocks 5 10
    Fast Break Points 9 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 11 7

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Pau Gasol Gasol
    Points: 16
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 44
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2