DALLAS -- Elton Brand knows there's a direct correlation between the amount of minutes he's played and the production he's given on the court."When you play 10, 11 minutes, you can't do much," the Dallas Mavericks' center/forward said. "But when you get minutes, you've got to show coach that you're worthy of those minutes. I was just trying to make a difference each time I'm out there."And time, as has been the case with Brand, is a precious commodity.All three of Brand's double-digit rebounding games this season came when he played at least 26 minutes, while three of his four double-digit scoring games resulted from the 14-year veteran being on the floor for at least 26 minutes.Brand had a season-high 17 points and eight rebounds in only 19 minutes during a Nov. 27 loss at Philadelphia. Then, in Saturday's 92-77 victory over Detroit, he tied his season high in points (17) and rebounds (12), and also collected a season-high four blocks.Two days later, coach Rick Carlisle said Brand: "had a vintage practice [Monday]. It was great."I texted him the definition of vintage to know that it's really a great, high compliment," Carlisle saidBrand, 33, appreciates the compliment."I know what vintage means," Brand said. "But I told him that's just where I'm at. I told him 'I'm ageless. I transcend right now.' He just started laughing."Brand and the Mavericks (8-9) hope to be laughing again tonight at 9:30 when they play the Los Angeles Clippers (11-6) on the road at the Staples Center.The Clippers are the last of the three teams Brand has played for that the Mavs have played in the past eight days. Brand played for Philadelphia from 2008 through last season.Chicago made Brand the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft, and he contributed four points and six rebounds last Wednesday against the Bulls. Also, Brand spent the 2001-08 seasons playing for the Clippers.After the Sixers slapped the amnesty clause on Brand this past summer, the Mavericks signed him to a one-year, $2.1 million contract. It is money well spent, as far as the Mavericks are concerned."He's playing great and I think part of it is he's gotten more and more familiar with our guys," Carlisle said. "We've got a lot of new guys. And he's getting in a rhythm. He's a big part of our team right now."Dwain Price, 817-390-7760Twitter: @DwainPrice
Mavericks at Clippers
9:30 tonight, Staples
Center, Los Angeles
TV: FSSW, ESPN
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM
About the Mavericks (8-9): The Mavs are coming off their best defensive effort of the season - a 92-77 victory over the Detroit Pistons. It's the fewest points the Mavs have allowed all season. ...O.J. Mayo is averaging 20.2 points and converting 47.6 percent of his field goals and 52.7 percent of his 3-point shots.
About the Clippers (11-6): This will be Clippers forward Lamar Odom's first game against Dallas since he and the Mavericks parted ways last season.