Wizards Top Grizzlies

After committing a costly turnover with 22 seconds left, Isaac Austin was looking for a chance to redeem himself. He got the opportunity, and made the most of it.

Mitch Richmond scored 19 points and Austin added 16, including three free throws down the stretch, as the Washington Wizards defeated the Vancouver Grizzlies 89-87 Tuesday night.

Austin sank one of two free throws with 2:01 left to put the Wizards ahead for good at 86-85, and added two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to clinch the victory.

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  • Austin threw the ball out of bounds while trying to pass to Aaron Williams with 22 seconds remaining.

    "I was upset about (the turnover)," Austin said. "I didn't want to end the game on that."

    Vancouver, which led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, scored just one basket over the final three minutes and lost its 26th straight road game dating back to Feb. 6, 1999.

    "We had execution problems down the stretch," coach Brian Hill said. "We have to be able to make plays at the end of a close game."

    Bryant Reeves led Vancouver with 25 points, but missed five of six shots in the fourth quarter as Washington changed its defensive strategy against him. Reeves scored several baskets the first three quarters off the pick-and-roll.

    "We changed up our defense on the pick-and-roll, which made it harder for him to get those easy baskets," Austin said.

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 23 points and Othella Harrington added 18 for the Grizzlies.

    Rookie Richard Hamilton scored 11 of his 14 points in the first quarter for Washington.

    Reeves scored 11 points during a 21-4 Vancouver run that put the Grizzlies ahead 37-31 in the second quarter. Vancouver extended that lead to 47-38 by halftime.


  • Abdur-Rahim didn't have double-digits in points and rebounds for the first time this season. He finished with eight rebounds.
  • Washington point guard Rod Strickland, who didn't start against the Clippers on Saturday, returned to the starting lineup against Vancouver. Strickland missed two practices last week one after complaining of stomach pains, the other because of a sore back and legs. Washington coach Gar Heard elected not to start Strickland against the Grizzlies, but played him 26 minutes.

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