MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Los Angeles Clippers are glad people can finally stop talking about their winless record on the road.
Elton Brand scored 26 points and had a strong defensive effort Saturday night to help the Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 89-82 for their first road victory of the season. The Clippers, the last NBA team without a road win, were 0-7 away from Staples Center.
"I thought we were going to be the only team in the NBA without a road win the rest of the year," center Chris Kaman said. "We were really struggling."
The Grizzlies shot just 21-for-34 (62 percent) from the free-throw line, and Brand limited Memphis leading-scorer Hakim Warrick to eight points -- less than half of his 16.5-point season average.
"The big thing that hurt us a lot were missed free throws," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "(We were) 0-7, missed catches in the paint, and missed high percentage shots. Our 19 turnovers led to their (22) points, and along with our 13 missed free throws, that really hurt us."
Sam Cassell added 18 points off the bench for Los Angeles, while Kaman finished with 12 points and eight rebounds and Cuttino Mobley scored 10 points. Shaun Livingston had nine assists for the Clippers.
The Grizzlies pulled to 86-82 on Miller's three-point play with 24.8 seconds left, but couldn't avoid their fifth loss in six games.
Los Angeles carried a 48-41 lead into halftime behind 14 points from Brand and 12 from Cassell.
Cassell gave the Clippers an early spark, entering the game midway through the opening period and scoring 10 quick points.
"I've started in this league for 11 years. When you're not starting, your mind frame is definitely different," Cassell said. "I have to readjust my mind on how I approach the game, and what I can do to have an impact."
While Cassell was getting off to a quick start, Warrick, who had led Memphis offensively in recent games -- including 31 points Friday night in a loss at Milwaukee -- struggled as Brand forced him to miss his first three shots.
When Warrick scored his first basket midway through the second period, Brand, who was on the bench, headed back in. And, if Warrick's struggles on offense weren't bad enough, Fratello was yelling at the second-year player from Syracuse to put his hands up on defense.
"It was just one of those nights," Warrick said. "It just wasn't going down for me. When I got the ball, (Brand) did a good job of making me work for my shots."
Brand's defense and a lack of offense from the frontline starters, left the Grizzlies settling for outside shots. They were not very successful -- connecting on 43 percent of their shots in the half.
However, 10 first-half turnovers prevented the Clippers from building a substantial lead, although the halftime advantage matched their biggest of the first half.
Memphis couldn't overtake Los Angeles in the third because of poor free throw shooting and careless ball handling in the quarter, leading to six turnovers. That allowed the Clippers to carry a 67-60 lead into the fourth, and hold on to end their road woes.
"It feels good to get that monkey off our back," Brand said. "Now, we can hopefully get a string of road victories and go on about our business. It was definitely in the back of our minds."
- Memphis G Eddie Jones was back on the floor after missing 13 games with right Achilles' tendinitis. Jones did not start, but entered the game in the first quarter and played 18 minutes.
- Memphis continues to anticipate the return of All-Star F Pau Gasol. The 7-footer, who hasn't played this season while recovering from a fractured bone in his left foot, was cleared this week for contact practice, and could return to action as early next week.
- The Clippers' previous worst road start in a season was 0-12 in 1998-99.
- Clippers F Corey Maggette, who started his first game of the season Friday night at San Antonio, was back in his reserve role coming off the bench Saturday.
- Memphis is yet to win a home game against a Western Conference opponent.
- Brand, Kaman and Maggette each had three steals, part of a season-high 13 steals for the Clippers.