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Hornets snap four-game losing skid; Gasol scores 28 in loss

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- With three of his top players out for an
extended period because of injuries, New Orleans Hornets coach
Byron Scott is preaching the gospel of "hanging in there" until
the team is at full strength.

The Hornets did just that Friday night, rallying from a
seven-point fourth-quarter deficit and snapping a four-game losing
streak with a 100-97 overtime win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Desmond Mason scored the go-ahead basket in overtime and
finished with 17 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, and Marc
Jackson came off the bench to add 19 points and a season-high 10
boards for the Hornets, who also trailed by three points in
overtime.

Unlike their last two losses, by two points at Miami and three
points at Orlando, the Hornets (11-14) made the plays in the final
seconds against the Grizzlies (6-21).

"We have played really hard the last few games and have nothing
to show for it," Scott said. "We talked to the guys that it is
one or two plays that would make us 13-12. That would be pretty
good for the absence of guys we have.

"I told the guys before the game that the adversity that we
have had this season with some of our guys out is either going to
make us or break us. That is the bottom line. I think they are
showing their toughness, resiliency and character by playing as
hard as we played."

The absence of David West, Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson has
caused the Hornets to turn to players like Mason and Jackson for a
spark.

"We got some stops, stops, stops in the last few minutes and we
had great movement on the offensive end, and that helped us get the
win," Jackson said.

Mason's basket from underneath with 25.3 seconds left in
overtime -- on a pass from Jackson -- put New Orleans ahead 98-97.
Memphis' Chucky Atkins threw the ball away with 8.3 seconds left,
and Jannero Pargo hit two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to give
the Hornets a three-point lead.

Damon Stoudamire missed a well-guarded 3-point attempt at the
buzzer for the Grizzlies.

"It was small mistakes," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "I
don't know how many games, close games, we've lost because we make
a mistake down the stretch. We are finding out an awful lot. We had
a chance, we just couldn't get the stop and we paid the price for
it."

In his fifth game since returning from a broken left foot, Pau
Gasol led Memphis with 28 points, but played only 2 minutes in
overtime and wasn't in the game in the final minute.

Gasol, who played about 28 minutes, said he has an agreement
with Fratello to limit his playing time until he rounds back into
shape.

"I can't play over a certain amount of minutes, and my time was
up," Gasol said.

Memphis went 10-of-26 from 3-point range, including a 4-of-9
effort from Mike Miller, who scored 18 points.

Chris Paul scored 15 points, and Tyson Chandler grabbed 17
rebounds for the Hornets before fouling out with 58.1 seconds left
in regulation.

The Hornets outrebounded Memphis 57-37.

"That was a good deal," Mason said. "Everybody kind of got
involved and played the game the right way. It was a group
effort."

Gasol scored 15 first-half points for the Grizzlies, who led by
as many as seven points before Pargo hit consecutive 3-pointers at
the end of the first quarter to pull the Hornets to 22-21.

Paul didn't score until hitting a free throw with 5:15 left in
the second quarter. His first basket, a 3-pointer with 2:40 left in
the half, gave the Hornets the lead at 39-37, and they upped that
margin to 45-40 by halftime. The Hornets went 5-of-7 from 3-point
range in the half.

Memphis trailed 57-50 with 7:01 left in the third quarter, but
thanks to seven 3-pointers in the quarter -- a franchise record --
entered the fourth quarter ahead 70-65 and quickly extended that
lead to 72-65.

The Hornets pulled even at 84 with 3 minutes left and led 90-88
after Paul went almost the length of the court and scored on a
driving layup with 6.2 seconds left. Gasol sent the game into
overtime, scoring over the Hornets' Linton Johnson with 0.9 seconds
left.

Game notes
Brittanie Montgomery, a 19-year-old member of the Hornets'
dance team, the Honeybees, died Thursday in a two-vehicle collision
in northwest Oklahoma City. The Honeybees wore black armbands
Friday, while team employees wore ribbons to honor Montgomery's
memory ... The Hornets signed free-agent guard Devin Brown on
Friday for depth at both the shooting guard and small forward
spots. He entered the game at the start of the second quarter and
didn't score, going 0-for-4 from the field in 10 minutes of action.
Brown is a four-year NBA veteran and has played with Denver, San
Antonio and Utah ... Memphis' 7-for-11 3-point shooting performance
in the third quarter set a franchise record, breaking the previous
mark of six 3-pointers in a quarter, which the Grizzlies had done
three times, the last against Houston on Dec. 3, 2005.