MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 13 (Ticker) --
Although he is the second coach the Memphis Grizzlies have had this season, Hubie Brown is responsible for a lot of firsts.
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The Grizzlies have won four straight games for the first time since moving to Memphis, edging the Houston Rockets 114-109 Friday as Wesley Person
's three-pointer snapped a tie with 35 seconds left in overtime.
Brown replaced Sidney Lowe after the Grizzlies lost their first eight games. He endured another five straight losses while
putting his principles in place but has gone 6-5 since.
After moving from Vancouver prior to last season, the Grizzlies never won more than three in a row en route to a 23-59 mark. But Friday's victory was the fourth in a row for Memphis, one shy of the franchise record set from Feb. 13-20, 2001.
"This is more of what I expected at the beginning of the year," Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol said. "I knew we had talent and we just needed time to match everything and find some chemistry."
The Grizzlies made it hard on themselves, rallying in the fourth quarter to take the lead before allowing a tying three-pointer by Steve Francis with 2.3 seconds left in regulation.
Memphis also went scoreless for the first three-plus minutes of overtime. But with the score tied 109-109 and the shot clock running down, Person threw in a rainbow from the left wing that gave the Grizzlies the lead for good.
"I go through these runs where I get hot," Person said. "You know the shot clock is running down and you can tend to rush
your shot. I've been through this before. It's the first time in a long time I'm shooting the ball well early in the season."
"He comes down and draws rain, he draws snow and paint comes off the top (of the roof)," Brown said. "As we all know, the young man is a great shooter -- not a good shooter, a great shooter."
After Francis missed a three-pointer, Person added two free throws for the final margin.
Gasol had a season-high 29 points and 12 rebounds, Jason Williams had 25 and 12 assists and Person scored 21 points for the Grizzlies, who won an overtime game for the first time since
moving to Memphis.
Francis had 29 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and Cuttino Mobley scored 25 points for the Rockets, who had won five of their last seven games.
"I don't care what anyone says -- I take this loss," Francis said. "I made the wrong decisions. It doesn't matter what
anyone else says; I made some bad shots in overtime."
Mobley scored 13 of his team's first 14 points of the fourth quarter, helping the Rockets nurse their lead. But he missed
two free throws with 4:11 left, and Person answered with a jumper.
"I'm in a good groove right now," said Person, who made 5-of-8 three-pointers.
"His shot is effortless," Williams said. "Every time he shoots, I expect it to go in."
Francis made two free throws, but Gasol went around 7-5 rookie Yao Ming and drew fouls on consecutive trips. The four free throws gave Memphis the lead at 99-98 with 2:58 to go.
"He's one of the hardest 7-foot centers I have ever played against," Yao said through an interpreter. "He is really active."
Yao, who had his fourth straight double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds, padded both numbers with a follow dunk at the
2:41 mark. Shane Battier answered with a jumper and Francis traveled before Gasol sank two more from the line for a 103-100 edge with 51 seconds remaining.
Francis missed two free throws, but Yao rebounded the second miss and banked in a hook to make it a one-point game. Williams
drove past Francis for a layup with 7.9 seconds to go, but Francis came around a pick by Yao and drilled a three-pointer over
Gasol that tied it.
"That was just a miraculous shot," Brown said. "We got everything out of that we wanted, yet the kid still shot it over
a 7-foot guy."
Stromile Swift scored 11 points off the bench for the Grizzlies, who shot 46 percent (40-of-87) and made 25-of-30 free throws.
Glen Rice scored 16 points and Kenny Thomas added nine and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who shot 44 percent (38-of-87), including 12-of-25 from the arc.