In his first game as an NBA coach since 1986, Hubie Brown discovered that players still have to hit shots down the stretch.
The Memphis Grizzlies made just one field goal in the final three minutes and remained the league's only winless team with a 99-95 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at The Pyramid.
"What hurts are the breakdowns," Brown said. "Am I upset? I'm upset because the game is close and the only time we did not cover the three all night was at the end."
Memphis still had a chance to tie after Wally Szczerbiak made 1-of-2 free throws with 21 seconds left, but Jason Williams missed an off-balance three-pointer and rookie Drew Gooden missed a follow shot before teammate Pau Gasol knocked the ball out of bounds.
Kendall Gill iced it with a free throw at the other end with three seconds left.
"When you run the stuff and the go-to guys don't get the ball, the wrong guy shoots the ball," Brown said of Williams' shot.
Gasol was held under 10 points for the first time this season, scoring four on 2-of-8 shooting. His eight boards helped the Grizzlies outrebound an opponent for the first time, but it was not enough to win Brown's debut in Memphis.
"We'll be OK," Memphis forward Lorenzen Wright said. "We've got a new coach and things will change. We are going to be a winning team, for sure."
The Grizzlies were unable to stop Szczerbiak and Kevin Garnett down the stretch. The dangerous duo scored 10 of Minnesota's 11 points after Gooden put Memphis up 91-88 with three minutes left.
"We executed our plays and we played as a team down the stretch," Garnett said.
Garnett led all scorers with 28 points and Szczerbiak added 22.
Rookie Gordan Giricek led the Grizzlies with 25 points, his best performance since scoring 29 on opening night.
"We are playing very different," said Giricek, a Croatian. "We have more energy. (Brown) seems like a European coach."
Sidney Lowe resigned Tuesday as Grizzlies coach.
Gill and Rasho Nesterovic each had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who shot nearly 51 percent (39-of-77) while keeping New Orleans under 40 percent (35-of-89).
The Grizzlies won the battle on the boards, 50-38, and got 18 points and eight rebounds from Gooden.