7:00 PM ET, November 27, 2012
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Sixers use fourth-quarter surge, spoil Elton Brand's return to Philly
PHILADELPHIA -- The 76ers won again with Elton Brand having another strong game and earning a hefty paycheck from the organization.
Brand just couldn't celebrate because his effort was wasted with Dallas.
Brand scored a season-high 17 points for the Mavericks in his first game against the Sixers since they used their one-time amnesty provision over the summer in the new labor deal to let him go. The move meant the $18.1 million Brand was owed in the final season of his $80 million, five-year contract did not count against the salary cap for Philadelphia, though it still owed him about $16 million.
The two-time All-Star forward didn't stay unemployed for long, and the Mavericks won the bidding at $2.1 million to land him off waivers.
With Andrew Bynum out with a bone bruise, Brand was the most expensive player the Sixers were paying to play in this game. He saw some familiar play in the fourth quarter when the Sixers started running, forced some turnovers and worked their way inside for easy buckets.
"I was a part of it last year. We used to do it time and time again," Brand said. "It was just hustle plays and being in the right spot at the right time."
Jrue Holiday had 18 points and seven assists for the Sixers, who snapped a six-game losing streak to Dallas. Philadelphia shot 6 of 14 on 3-pointers and won its second straight game.
The 76ers finally created some space in a back-and-forth game when they snapped a tie with a 10-0 run midway through the fourth.
The highlight came when Holiday stole the ball, took off running and dished to a driving Young down the lane for a three-point play and a 90-81 lead.
Carter, long a nuisance against Philadelphia, ended the Sixers' streak with a 3-pointer for a Dallas team trying to stay afloat with Dirk Nowitzki (knee) out about another month, at least.
The Mavericks whittled it to five until Young hit a mid-range jumper for a seven-point lead and the Sixers forced a turnover on the next possession with 90 seconds left. But they failed to score and Carter delivered again, sinking his third 3 to make it a four-point game. Carter made a left-handed layup to bring the Mavericks to 100-98 with 37 seconds left.
O.J. Mayo was fouled on a wild drive with 2.7 seconds to go but missed the first free throw attempt. Mayo also missed the second, but the Mavs recovered. Jae Crowder's last-gasp jumper was off the mark, leaving Dallas with a 2-5 record on the road.
The Mavericks had turnovers on five straight possessions during one miserable stretch in the fourth. They finished with eight overall in the quarter.
"They were untimely and completely out of character to how we played to that point," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "We have to eliminate those turnovers right now. In games like this, it's how you manage mistakes."
Brand chipped in eight rebounds for the Mavericks and played with an edge against his former team.
Brand was a two-time All-Star when he spurned better offers and signed the free-agent contract with Philadelphia. While he was the locker-room leader and heart of the Sixers, his production never merited the deal he signed as one of the hottest free agents available.
"We gave the fans some excitement," Brand said. "It definitely wasn't a full success."
He played only 29 games in an injury-filled first season with Philadelphia and never meshed with former coach Eddie Jordan in his second. Under Doug Collins, Brand found his niche and led the Sixers in scoring with 15 points a game in 2010-11.
"I wish I could have coached Elton one year in his prime. Just one," Collins said. "We miss him. We miss that soul."
Brand, averaging only 5.5 points this season, is far removed from his days as a regular double-double threat and was coming off a scoreless effort in a loss to the Lakers. He looked ready to stick it to his former team and had 12 points and five rebounds in the first half.
Brand powered his way past Lavoy Allen for a basket and a free throw for the final points of the first half and a 56-53 Dallas lead.
Turner, Holiday and even Kwame Brown started rolling in the second half to hold off the slumping Mavericks. With Holiday blossoming into one of the top point guards in the East, the Sixers can't be counted out, even without Bynum.
"Jrue has been big for us. He's been huge," Young said. "He's shown growth each and every year."
Brand's family still lives in the Philadelphia area. His daughter, Mahala, was born on Nov. 7. ... The Sixers have played 10 of 15 games at home. ... The Sixers are 5-1 against Western Conference teams this season. ... The 76ers have scored 100-plus points in each of the last three games after doing it twice in the first 12 games of the season. ... The Sixers made 24 free throws on a season-high 32 attempts.