Brand had 33 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Clippers to a 101-97 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.
It was his second fine performance in a row, and the second consecutive win for the Clippers after they lost six of seven.
“It’s my time,” said Brand, who hadn’t been playing as significant an offensive role as in past seasons. “We’re at kind of a crossroads. We needed to win. Being at .500 is OK for some teams, but we have some lofty goals.”
After making the second round of the playoffs last season, the Clippers are off to a 9-8 start, including 0-6 on the road.
“What we were doing wasn’t working,” Brand said. “I needed some touches. I don’t mind taking two shots a game if we win, but we needed to mix it up.”
He scored six points during a 19-6 run in the first six minutes of the second half as the Clippers pulled out to a 68-54 lead and they stayed in front — barely—the rest of the way.
Brand hit an 11-footer that made it 94-91 with 51 seconds remaining after Dwayne Wade’s four consecutive free throws cut the lead to one point. Wade missed a layup with 41 seconds left, and Brand was there to get the rebound.
Alonzo Mourning fouled him, and Brand made both free throws. The Clippers went on to hit 7-of-8 from the line in the final 41 seconds.
“It was one of those nights when Elton Brand was incredible,” Miami coach Pat Riley said. “He was just so efficient as a player. He just did us in.”
The double-double was the ninth of the season for Brand, who went 13-of-18 from the floor after going 12-of-14 from the field and scoring 31 in the Clippers’ 116-91 win over Orlando two nights earlier.
“When I’m hot like that, I don’t feel like I’m going to miss,” said Brand, who made a variety of put-backs, layps and jumpers.
“It’s always difficult to control Elton Brand,” said Wade, who scored 33 points. “It seems like Elton has a good game every time he plays against us.
“He’s one of the toughest covers in the league. He’s very poised, he knows how to get to the bucket and he knocks down shots. He’s one of the best players in the NBA and he showed it tonight.”
Mourning had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Miami, and Udonis Haslem had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Heat went just 3-of-25 from 3-point range, while the Clippers also made three, but in only 10 tries.
“We got great looks, but the shots just didn’t fall,” said Wade, who was 1-of-3 from beyond the arc. “If we can get those looks every night, we’ll take them. I don’t care how many shots you miss in a row.”
The Clippers overcame a five-point deficit in the final 2:37 of the second quarter to take a 45-44 lead into halftime. Brand had 13 points, nine rebounds and two assists in the first half.
Wade had 15 by halftime.
Heat G Gary Payton, who missed Saturday’s 98-97 victory at Memphis with an ear infection, scored seven points against Los Angeles but was 0-for-5 in 3-point tries. … Miami C Shaquille O’Neal, recovering from surgery on his left knee, wasn’t at the at the game. O’Neal, who played in Staples Center for the Clippers’ co-tenants, the Los Angeles Lakers, is expected to be out until at least Dec. 23. … The Clippers and Heat split their series last season. … Miami assistant Bob McAdoo played in 1972-77 for the Buffalo Braves, who moved to California in 1978 and became the San Diego Clippers, then shifted to Los Angeles in 1984.