Elton Brand's first playoff double-double in almost five years helped the Sixers' frontcourt hold its own against the Heat -- at least from the offensive side.

But the extra scoring punch wasn't enough to get them past the Heat. And at this point, it's fair to wonder if they've got enough to get there.

Brand and center Spencer Hawes, neither nearly as effective in the two losses in Miami as they were Thursday night, came home and combined for 33 points and 17 rebounds to give the Sixers some much-needed inside presence.

The overall results weren't any different, though, as the Heat pulled to a 3-0 series lead in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

"EB [Elton Brand] was bouncy," said Sixers coach Doug Collins, adding that some tinkers in the half-court offense helped free up Brand for more production. "He did a great job. I thought Spencer did a terrific job tonight. Both those guys played really well."

But one more loss and their Game 3 efforts won't matter.

If the Sixers have any hope of climbing back into this series, Brand may need to play like the promising superstar he once was for the Clippers and Hawes may need another career night to match the last one.

Brand, a nonfactor in Game 2 with just three points on 1-for-5 shooting, had the touch around the paint for most of the game.

He scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds -- his first postseason double-double since helping the Clippers beat Phoenix in a swing second-round Western Conference Game 6 on May 18, 2006.