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Clippers put Brand on overtime win over Sixers

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Allen Iverson and his Philadelphia 76ers
tried to ruin Sam Cassell's 37th birthday. Elton Brand and Corey Maggette wouldn't let them.

Brand had 32 points and 12 rebounds and Maggette added 21 points
for the Los Angeles Clippers, who capitalized on the absence of
Chris Webber and rallied Saturday night for a 103-97 overtime
victory that made them 6-0 at home.

"They are a great basketball team," Iverson said. "They have
what you need to win in this league. They have a grown man playing
power forward [Brand]. They have young talent, leadership in Sam
Cassell, a great pickup in Tim Thomas, players who know their role,
and an effective center."

The Clippers have won their first six home games for the first
time in the franchise's 37-year history -- including six seasons in
San Diego and eight as the Buffalo Braves. The team started a
season 5-0 at home only three other times -- last season, 1983-84 in
San Diego, and 1988-89 at the L.A. Sports Arena.

"I'm part of a lot of Clipper history now, so I enjoy it. Just
keep stacking 'em up," Brand said. "It's special -- and
disappointing at the same time, because we should never have had to
be in a position to have to claw and fight back."

The Clippers, who went more than 10 minutes without a field goal
in the second half of Tuesday's 112-90 loss at Utah, made only two
of their first 15 shots against Philadelphia and committed seven of
their 23 turnovers while the Sixers opened the game with a 25-9
run.

"This was a game we were supposed to have," Iverson said. "We
went up 16 points and we tried to fix something that wasn't broken.
We let them back in the game. We had all the momentum going our
way, and then we switched up what we were doing."

Cassell, who came in leading the Clippers with a 19.6 scoring
average, was 3-for-13 from the field and finished with 12 points in
29 minutes. He missed his first seven shots and appeared to have
ended the drought with a jumper from the key with 3:48 left in the
second quarter. But referee Bennett Salvatore waved it off because
of an offensive foul against Cassell -- who received a quick
technical from Salvatore for arguing.

"It's my job to get us where we need to go," Cassell said.
"It's sickening to me sometimes to see the execution, but we're
winning games just by grinding it out. And that says something for
this ballclub. After all we didn't do, we still won the game. I
never thought once that we were going to lose this ballgame."

Iverson had 29 points and nine assists for the 76ers, who led
most of the way but couldn't quite compensate for the loss of
Webber due to stiffness in his back. Forward Shavlik Randolph made
his second start in the NBA and first this season in Webber's
place, scoring eight points in 19 minutes.

Kyle Korver hit a 17-footer and a 3-pointer 54 seconds apart to
give the Sixers a 95-93 lead with 2:44 left in OT. But the Clippers
tied it on Thomas' baseline jumper and pulled ahead 97-95 on two
free throws by Cassell with 1:32 left. The teams traded baskets
before Maggette hit one of two free throws for a 100-97 margin with
21 seconds to go.

Korver missed a 3-pointer from the right sideline off an
inbounds pass from Kevin Ollie, and Brand made three of four free
throws in the final 17 seconds to cap a game-ending 10-2 run.

"I don't care how we got it. We won," Maggette said. "We were
sloppy in the first half and we didn't do anything right. We had
turnovers here and there, but ultimately we made shots in the
second half."

The Clippers didn't take their first lead until Maggette sank
two free throws for a 78-77 edge with 5:18 left in regulation.
Korver quieted the raucous crowd of 18,470 momentarily with a
3-pointer from the left corner 17 seconds later, but Thomas hit a
layup at the other end and Maggette drained a 21-footer for an
82-80 edge after Iverson threw up 18-foot airball from the left
sideline.

Game notes
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cassell's teams are
6-1 on his birthday since he entered the NBA in 1993-94. The only
loss was to Toronto in 2000 when he was with Milwaukee. ... Only
five players who were on an NBA opening-night roster are older than
Cassell -- Dikembe Mutombo (40), Cliff Robinson (39), Gary Payton
(38), Dale Davis (37 years, 8 months) and P.J. Brown (37 years, 1
month). ... Philadelphia has lost nine of its last 11 games against
the Clippers in Los Angeles, including four straight. But the 76ers
have beaten them the last nine times at home and will try to extend
that streak on Feb. 9.