Brand scored 20 points in his best game of the preseason,
and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the New York Knicks 93-85 on Tuesday night for
their first 4-0 exhibition start since 1978.
Brand shot 8-of-12 from the field and scored 10 points in
the third quarter, when the 76ers rebounded from an ugly second period to take
the lead for good. He also had eight rebounds, following one of them by swinging
his elbows and opening a cut that required four stitches over Knicks forward
Jared Jeffries' right eye.
"That's the way I played when I'm healthy, and I'm
healthy, so that's the way I'm going to play," Brand said. "Aggressive, get to
the line, hit free throws and cause double-teams, and once the double-teams
come, we've got some prolific scorers, guys that can put up points."
Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 26 points, 11 coming
in the fourth quarter to keep New York from getting close, while Andre Iguodala
added 15 points and Louis Williams had 14.
Al Harrington scored 18 points and Wilson Chandler had 16
for the Knicks (1-2), who shot 31 percent from the field, including going 7-for-41 from 3-point range (17 percent). Danilo Gallinari, their top perimeter threat
whom coach Mike D'Antoni called the best shooter he's ever seen, went 1-for-6,
falling to 4-of-19 in the preseason.
"Defensively we were OK, just one of these days we've got
to make some shots and we haven't done it yet," D'Antoni said. "They're thinking
too much about it, they just need to shoot them. I don't think it's a big deal,
but obviously you can't shoot 30 percent or 7-for-41."
The Knicks, who hit only 38 percent in a loss at Boston
on Friday, were booed late in their first of three games at Madison Square
Garden this week.
"We didn't play well. They pay for the tickets. It's part
of basketball," Jeffries said.
Brand was limited to 29 games during a disappointing
first season in Philadelphia that ended in February with right shoulder surgery.
The 76ers were probably better without him because they played an up-tempo
offense that made him a tough fit, but the 6-foot-9 forward could be an
important piece in new coach Eddie Jordan's system.
"He's making himself available in the box, off the
elbow, in the middle of the floor (and) at the free throw line," Jordan said.
"He's teaching me, too, how to coach him. It's a good thing. I want him to be
aggressive so I know what's good for him."
Brand made 4-of-5 shots in the third quarter, when the
76ers outscored the Knicks 32-20 to turn an eight-point halftime deficit into a
67-63 lead. New York never got closer in the fourth.
The Knicks started slowly, getting two of their first
three baskets on goaltending calls against Samuel Dalembert. They shot only 6-of-23 in the first quarter and trailed 22-15 before getting their transition game
going in the second.
Trailing by three, the Knicks outscored the 76ers 13-2
to take a 43-35 lead on Harrington's follow slam with 0.3 seconds remaining.
Brand nailed Jeffries above the right eye during that
stretch. Jeffries said something to Brand about it before he was taken to the
locker room to get the stitches. He returned to start the second half.
Brand, who was surrounded by three players, said he was
just trying to be careful after he had the ball stolen on a previous play.
"I just wanted to clear some space," Brand said. "I got
stripped once or twice and it's like all right, I'm going to make sure I hold
onto this rebound. Wasn't malicious, I didn't want to give anybody stitches, but
I definitely wanted to get them off me."
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