MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis Grizzlies are starting to
believe in themselves -- even when trailing by double digits in the
Wesley Person scored 23 points, including 12 straight in the
final period, as Memphis overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat the
Milwaukee Bucks 95-84 Friday night.
Milwaukee led 76-66 with just under nine minutes to play, but
Memphis outscored the Bucks 26-6 in the final 7:23. The Bucks, who
lost their third straight, didn't score in the final 2:40.
"I'm just one of those guys who believe every time I take a
shot, it's going in,'' said Person, whose fourth-quarter scoring
led the Grizzlies to their Dec. 16 victory over Golden State. "I
just love big moments. A lot of guys can play when it's pickup
games. I just love it when the lights come on and people are in the
Memphis won its fifth straight home game. The Grizzlies are 8-7
since losing their first 13 games.
Person, the league leader in 3-point accuracy, was 4-for-4 from
behind the arc and 8-of-12 overall. Pau Gasol added 18 points and
14 rebounds, Drew Gooden finished with 13 points and Jason Williams
had 11 points and 13 assists.
''(Person) was like a time bomb waiting to go off,'' Allen said.
"I had my eye on him. The minute I turned my head, he got a shot
off, and that was the start of it.''
Bucks coach George Karl was lamenting before the game that his
team has had trouble finishing off opponents.
Sure enough, they failed again.
"Lately, we haven't been able to step up when teams come after
us,'' Karl said. "I think it is where we are in the season, and
our confidence level isn't where it should be. They have an
offensive weapon in Person going, and we didn't challenge him.''
The Bucks closed the first half with a 15-2 run to erase a
seven-point deficit and take a 47-41 advantage at halftime. Allen
had the first seven points in the stretch to tie the game 39-39.
Mason, who had 12 in the half, scored five in the run.
"We had all these turnovers in the first half,'' Memphis coach
Hubie Brown said of the Grizzlies' 13 miscues. "We missed layups,
so we could never get in a groove early.''
In the third quarter, the Bucks built their lead to 11 -- their
biggest of the game -- with under three minutes to play. Dunks by
Gasol and Stromile Swift and another basket by Swift cut the lead
to 70-64 entering the fourth.
Fast breaks off turnovers early in the final quarter allowed
Milwaukee to build its lead back to 10. Midway through the period,
Person scored 12 straight Grizzlies' points to key the big finish.
Aside from Person's shooting, the Grizzlies went to a zone
defense and disrupted the Bucks' offense down the stretch. Brown
noted that while Memphis was in the zone, the Bucks shot only
The defensive strategies, the successful comebacks and better
rebounding have the Grizzlies trusting in each other.
"We have a very good shooter this year,'' Gasol said of Person.
"Down the stretch we are gaining much more confidence, and we
really believe we can win.''
Cassell had to take a bathroom break before tipoff and was
replaced in the starting lineup by Kevin Ollie. ... The Bucks
didn't commit their first turnover until 4:43 remained in the first
half when Mason was called for traveling. Memphis had committed
nine by that point. ... Bucks reserve F Jason Caffey did not play
because of an injured right finger. ... Person had a four-point
play midway through the third period, only the fifth such play in
Grizzlies history. ... Bucks coach George Karl bemoaned his team's
play in December, saying they miss Toni Kukoc (right thumb surgery)
... The Bucks are 2-7 in December. ... Jason Williams was 2-of-2
from the free throw line making him 28-of-29 for the season. He has
not missed a free throw since Nov. 9, a streak of 26 straight.
...The Bucks are 0-5 when scoring 89 or less.