Instead of watching the fourth quarter from the bench, the two-time All-Star forward was right in the middle of the action for Philadelphia.
Lou Williams’ layup with 3.1 seconds remaining lifted the 76ers to a come-from-behind 86-84 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Andre Iguodala(notes) scored 25 points, Williams had 19 and Brand contributed season highs of 19 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots for the Sixers, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Rodney Carney(notes) had 10 points for Philadelphia.
Brand was clearly a catalyst in this victory.
“That’s not my best,” Brand said. “I’ve still got a lot better games ahead of me. I still feel like I missed some easy shots.”
Brand played a season-high 41 minutes, including meaningful minutes down the stretch. In six of the last seven games, Brand didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter.
“He didn’t lobby,” Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said of Brand’s minutes. “What he did on the floor warranted playing time.”
“I’m glad the shot went in,” Williams said. “We needed a win. To be honest, I was kind of mad that we were behind. I took it personally.”
The Bobcats never got off a shot on their final possession.
Stephen Jackson(notes) scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter. Gerald Wallace(notes) added 11 points and 12 rebounds for the reeling Bobcats (3-8), who dropped their sixth straight and fell to 0-6 on the road.
“I’m taking some of the blame for that,” Jackson said, referring to the final possession. “I wasn’t in the right position.”
Jackson nearly erased a seven-point deficit single-handedly in the fourth quarter. He hit a tough jumper in the lane and then drained a 3-pointer to give Charlotte an 82-81 advantage with 2:09 left.
On the Bobcats’ next possession, Diaw drove to the basket for a layup and an 84-81 lead with 1:49 remaining. Williams made two free throws to close within 84-83 with 52 seconds left. Iguodala then hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 84 with 30 seconds remaining.
Yet the Bobcats lost again.
“It’s been the same problem all year with turnovers,” Charlotte coach Larry Brown said.
Earlier in the fourth, Jackson hit a 3-pointer from the baseline and then converted two of three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt on Charlotte’s next possession. That cut a 77-70 deficit to 77-75 with 5:41 remaining.
Brand was in the starting lineup for the Sixers despite speculation over the past couple of days that he might be coming off the bench.
Two years ago, Brand signed a five-year, $80 million free agent contract. But he missed the majority of last season with a shoulder injury and he entered Wednesday’s game with career-low averages in points (9.8) and rebounds (5.3). Brand has also been on the bench in the fourth quarter six of the last seven games before this one.
Iguodala led four Sixers in double figures as they held a 52-43 advantage at halftime.
NOTES: Charlotte C Tyson Chandler(notes) suffered lower back spasms in the second quarter and sat out the entire second half. … Bobcats coach Larry Brown said he hopes guard Allen Iverson(notes) lands with another team. Iverson, was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this week, took the Sixers to the NBA finals in 2001. “I don’t want to see him end his career this way,” Brown said. … Charlotte was whistled for three shot-clock violations in the first half. … Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson attended the game