PHILADELPHIA -- Other than failing to help his Dallas Maverick teammates get a win Tuesday over the Philadelphia 76ers, forward Elton Brand had a very nice homecoming.
Brand got a chance to visit with his family, who lives in the Philadelphia area. That includes his daughter, Mahala, who was born less than three weeks ago.
In the game itself, which the Sixers won 100-98, Brand poured in a season-high 17 points and collected eight rebounds in only 19 minutes of work. He also was 5-of-10 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
But what the Sixers did to the Mavs -- erasing a nine-point deficit -- is what Brand grew accustomed to when he played the last four seasons for Philly.
"Yeah, they turned up their intensity,'' Brand said. "I was a part of it last year when we used to do it time and time again.
"It seemed like the game was in our favor for a while, after that slow first quarter start. It was just hustle plays (by the Sixers), being in the right spot at the right time.''
The game was tied at 81-81 with 8:32 remaining, and then the Sixers forced turnovers on six straight Mavericks' possessions. It was as if the Mavs forgot how to protect the basketball.
"We had control of the game, felt life, then we had three turnovers in a row, took a timeout, then had three more turnovers in a row,'' Brand said. "You can't beat a team like that with Jrue Holiday playing the way he's playing and Thad Young playing the way he's playing, and the way those guys step up and hit shots.''
Despite the loss, coach Rick Carlisle was pleased with Brand's performance off the bench.
"He's a man's man, and that's the ultimate compliment I can give to him,'' Carlisle said. "It's extremely hard coming back to a place you have played and play well, because it's so emotional and all that.
"The way he played big and hit timely shots and gave us a physical presence was very impressive.''
Sixers coach Doug Collins also tipped his hat to Brand.
"Dallas is a very tough team to guard and it was great to see E.B. tonight,'' Collins said. "I love him, I love what he stands for, and he's everything an NBA player should be.
"He's class, dignity, hard work, a day's work for a day's pay. He had a season-high (in points) -- I knew he was going to play well.''
-- Dwain Price
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