MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- On a poor shooting night, the Milwaukee Bucks never gave up, using hustle to overcome their offensive woes.
Ramon Sessions had 20 points, including a pair of free throws that put Milwaukee ahead with 42.3 seconds left in overtime, and the Bucks held on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 101-96 on Friday night.
"We were just trying to be persistent," said Milwaukee forward Richard Jefferson, who led the Bucks with 26 points and 10 rebounds. "No one could throw it in for the whole game. That was probably my career high in shots [26, one short of his career high], but definitely not makes ."
Sessions' free throws came after Hakim Warrick appeared to block his layup only to be called for a foul, sending Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni screaming down the sideline about the call. The free throws gave the Bucks a 95-94 lead, and Milwaukee held on, sending Memphis to its fourth straight loss. The Bucks won their second in a row.
"It was a hard fought game," Iavaroni said. "The officials let us play. It was a very physical game."
Sessions' 3-pointer with 9.4 seconds left in regulation tied it at 87. Sessions missed a desperation shot as the horn sounded to send the game into overtime.
"[Sessions] hasn't shot many threes in his career," said center Andrew Bogut, who had 12 points and 15 rebounds. "He took a good shot and it went in. If it wasn't for that shot, we wouldn't be in here laughing in the locker room right now. We would probably be down after a tough loss. If it wasn't for that shot, we don't go to overtime."
The Bucks again were without leading scorer Michael Redd (ankle).
Milwaukee outhustled Memphis, particularly on the glass, outrebounding Memphis 62-36, including 23 on the offensive end. That led to the Bucks holding a 28-12 advantage in second-chance points.
"Those 23 offensive rebounds are going to stick you eventually, and they did in overtime," Iavaroni said. "It just took a little longer. They outworked us where it was most important, 28-12 on second shots."
Neither team shot well, Memphis hitting 40 percent for the game, while Milwaukee shot 39.
Memphis let a 16-point first-half lead evaporate in the third period as the Bucks held the Grizzlies to only 15 points on 6-of-20 from the field in the quarter. That allowed Milwaukee to tie the game and, in the fourth quarter, Mbah a Moute took over inside, scoring 11 points in the fourth, and the Bucks continued their domination on the offensive board.
The Bucks were up 84-76 with 2:26 left in regulation, but Memphis put together an 11 unanswered points Gay leading the charge. That gave Memphis an 87-84 lead before Sessions tying basket with 9.4 left in regulation.
"We were just running plays," Session said, "and the ball was there when I needed it."
Gay had 18 of his 24 points in the final three minutes of regulation and overtime.
Both teams worked the ball inside to their centers at the start. Bogut was taking feeds deep in the post, while Gasol was getting fouled going to the basket, consequently getting his early points from the line. That was good because neither team was shooting well from outside. The Bucks missed all seven of their shots from outside the arc in the first half and hit only three of 13 in the game.
Redd missed his sixth game with the ankle sprain. Bucks F Charlie Villanueva also sat out with a left hamstring strain. ... Austin Croshere made his first appearance for Milwaukee this season, entering the game in the second quarter. Croshere was claimed off waivers before the start of the season. ...The Bucks have won five straight in the series with Memphis. ... The Grizzlies' 16-point lead in the first half was their largest of the season.