Brand didn't know if he would play well. He had a strained neck and shoulder that made him a ghost from the Sixers' third playoff game to its ninth.
He didn't know if Iguodala would play decently; Iguodala fights knee issues and Achilles' issues and, it seems, sanity issues.
But Brand knew they would play hard.
Brand might be the victim of the NBA's new amnesty rule next season, which would allow the Sixers to take his money off their salary cap.
Iguodala will be the juiciest trade bait the Sixers have to offer as they seek to surround young guards Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner with viable options on offense.
Both Brand and Iguodala were expected to be stars for the franchise.
Injury and mileage precluded Brand.
Inclination hindered Iguodala.
They knew this might be the last time they wore red, white and blue. The last time they would share the captaincy of this flawed and endearing team. The last time they heard cheers in South Philly.
If nothing else, they sought to extend their stay.
Valiantly, they succeeded, 82-75.
"They're the vets. They led us," said second-year guard Evan Turner. "Elton played great. And Dre got us in our defensive sets and made plays."
Brand pounded the wiry back of Kevin Garnett, who, clearly fatigued on just 1 day of rest, was just 3-for-11 before his late blitz.
Brand shouldered his share of the load all over the court, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
He even went coast-to-coast with a steal and layup. He looked like a goose running from a golf cart, but he did it.
Iguodala, frenetic at times, scored 12, but he was far less effective. He began the action with two thunderous dunks and added another later, but he also missed his first four free throws; he's got the yips like Ben Hogan. He missed six of his first nine shots - all except the dunks.
He committed four fouls, each time against Paul Pierce, who finished with 24 points, 13 of them from the free throw line. Iguodala's mission this series was to stop Pierce.
Iguodala made an enormous three-pointer late in the third and hit a pair of free throws in the fourth, but, as the game progressed, like a good doctor, he did no harm.
Brand and Iguodala were the aberration on a young team desperate to remain alive playing an old team gasping to avoid another game in their swan-song season.
Youth ruled the day. The aberrations led the way.
Brand pried one of his four offensive rebounds from Garnett's claws early in the fourth quarter, which led to Holiday's layup that gave the Sixers an eight-point lead.
It was Brand who nearly rejected Garnett in the paint with 4:30 to play. It was Iguodala who got on the floor to erode the shot clock further in that key, fruitless possession that left the Sixers ahead by nine.
It was Brand who locked arms with Garnett on the next possession's rebound, denying Garnett the board. And Brand who ripped the offensive board on the Sixers' ensuing possession.
Brand, who canned a killer 12-footer from the baseline with 1:51 left to restore a nine-point lead.
Brand, who flew out to distract gunner Ray Allen in the last minute.
Iguodala, pleasantly, who, with 38.7 to play, canned two free throws to ice it.
It was a wonderful night for them both.
Possibly, a wonderful, final night.
"We know that," said Brand, one of the league's smarter players. "It's a business. Whatever's best for the team."
Brand, in his 13th season, figures he has few chances at playoff runs. He went 5-for-18 over the next three games after he injured his neck and shoulder in Game 2 in Chicago, and he saw his minutes drop to about 16 per game in the first four games against the Celtics.
He has worn kinesio tape with a heating pad on his left trapezius since the injury.
He hurt, but he chafed on the bench.
"That's professional sports," Brand said. "I hurt, but I thought I could help."
He helped enormously Wednesday night.
Things will be different Saturday in Boston.
The Celtics will be playing on 2 days' rest. They have won both playoff games the postseason when playing on 2 days' rest.
They will be playing at home, where once again they will unsheathe their baseball bats and their brass knuckles and enjoy their homecourt entitlement.
They will not win shooting 40 percent in the first 24 minutes at the Garden.
They will lose if they give the ball away nine times in the first half.
Brand knows all of those things that might very well happen.
As Brand strode through the corridors of the Wells Fargo Center last night, natty and cool, as usual, he offered no assurances.
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