Jodie Meeks scored 22 points and Jrue Holiday added nine of his 20 in the final 6½ minutes, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 104-94 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Elton Brand had 19 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Sixers tie the idle New York Knicks for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Brand played for the Clippers for six seasons and left for free agency as their career rebounding leader and third-leading scorer.
Randy Foye led Los Angeles with 18 points and DeAndre Jordan added 16 points and 15 rebounds.
The 76ers didn't treat Clippers All-Star rookie Blake Griffin too kindly on his 22nd birthday, forcing him to miss his first six shots and holding him to 14 points on 3 for 12 shooting. He scored a career-low eight points in a 105-82 loss Monday to Memphis that snapped his streak of 67 double-digit games — the longest at the start of an NBA career since David Robinson's 77 in a row.
Griffin, who was attempting to tie Brand's 2001-02 single-season record of 55 double-doubles in a Clippers uniform, fouled out for the third time this season with 1:28 remaining and finished with eight rebounds. It was the fifth straight game in which he failed to record a double-double.
Griffin nearly came to blows with Tony Battie after the Sixers forward committed a flagrant foul.
About 2 minutes after making his first field goal, Griffin was hacked on his way to the basket while trying to drive between Battie and Meeks with 2:28 left in the first half. Battie still had a grip on Griffin's shirt when the usually even-tempered rookie bolted up from the floor and had to be restrained.
So did Sixers coach Doug Collins with 15.8 seconds left in the half, when he received two quick technical fouls and was ejected following Battie's fourth personal foul. Before he departed for the dressing room, Collins gathered his players around him and had an animated discussion with them. Reserve Marreese Speights, who spent the entire game on the bench, also got a technical once the half ended.
The Clippers were outscored 30-19 in the third quarter. The 76ers extended their three-point halftime lead to 77-59 with a 16-4 run, capped by Meeks' 3-pointer with 2½ minutes left in the period.
The Clippers got as close as 90-81 with 5:17 remaining on two free throws by Griffin, who was serenaded by some 76ers fans seated behind the Philadelphia bench while he was at the line. But Griffin picked up his fifth foul 16 seconds later while trying to draw an offensive charge from Holiday, who came back with a 20-footer and 3-pointer on the Sixers' next two possessions.
Notes: Even if Griffin gets a double-double in each of the Clippers' remaining 13 games, he would come up two short of the franchise record Bob McAdoo set with the Buffalo Braves in 1974-75. ... The 76ers, who have faced every team but the Sacramento Kings, will play them Friday night on the fourth leg of their five-game road trip. ... The Clippers are 1-34 when trailing after three quarters. The only victory was on Jan. 16 against the Lakers, when they entered the fourth down 71-68 and won 99-92. ... The 76ers, who had a season-low five turnovers against the Clippers in a 105-91 victory on Dec, 15, finished with 11 in the rematch. ... Holiday, the youngest player on the Sixers' roster, is the only player to start and play in all 68 games for them. Griffin is the only one to start in all 69 games for the Clippers. ... Andre Iguodala, whose 3.29 assist-to-turnover ratio coming in was the fourth-best in the league, finished with eight assists and two turnovers.