Southaven, Miss. – The Memphis Hustle (28-22) lost its regular season finale Friday night at Landers Center, falling 120-96 to the Oklahoma City Blue (33-16). Memphis remains the fifth seed in the Western Conference while Oklahoma City pushed itself into a tie for first place in the conference and also the best record in the league. Memphis improved on last season’s record by seven wins.
Oklahoma City started the game on a tear, making eight of its first 10 shots and building a 39-30 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Blue extended the lead to 15 at halftime (67-52) after Memphis struggled offensively in the second quarter and would lead by as many as 27 in the second half.
The Blue were much more steadfast with the ball, which proved to be the difference in the game. The visitors assisted on 27 of its 44 field goals while Memphis assisted on just 12 of its 37 makes. The Hustle more than doubled up in the turnover department (21-10) and Oklahoma City also held a significant advantage in points off turnovers (27-7).
Dusty Hannahs led the Hustle scoring effort with 20 points off the bench to go with four rebounds and four assists. Markel Crawford posted 19 points of his own and grabbed four boards. Kyle Casey (9 points, 10 rebounds) fell one rebound shy of a double-double. Jay-R Strowbridge (13 points) reached double figures in his first start of the season for the Hustle.
Nine of the 10 players who saw action for Oklahoma City reached double figures. Scotty Hopson knocked down five of his first six shot attempts en route to a team-high 18 points. Two-way player Donte Grantham wasn’t far behind with 17 points (7-12 FG) off the bench. Dez Wells had 15 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals in a reserve role.
The Hustle will face the fourth-seeded Stockton Kings in the first round of the NBA G League Playoffs. Details regarding the team’s first-round game will be announced at a later date.