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.
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.
"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.
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.
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