Hustle keep Lakers comeback at bay, earn fourth straight win

By Geoff Langham | December 28, 2018

El Segundo, Calif. – The Memphis Hustle (13-7) earned its fourth straight victory, all away from home, by defeating the South Bay Lakers (9-12) 121-115 Thursday at night at UCLA Health Training Center. It also marks Memphis’ eighth win in nine games. After averaging just 3.4 points per game heading into the matchup, Marcus Keene sparked the Hustle win with a season-high 22 points in just 17 minutes of action. (8-14 FG, 3-6 3P).

Box Score

Memphis led 108-92 with 6:21 left in the game before the Lakers, led by Travis Wear, caught fire. The ensuing 4:16 of game action saw South Bay go on a 16-0 tear, capped off by a Wear four-point play. Tyler Harvey responded with a three of his own, but Wear tied it right back up on the next possession with his fifth bucket from beyond the arc for the night. The Hustle then scored on its next two possessions to help ice the game.

The Hustle pushed its lead to 90-81 heading into the final frame, courtesy of a 4-of-4 shooting display from beyond the arc that was capped off by another Keene trifecta with 2.7 seconds remaining.

In the first half, the Hustle survived a couple of early Lakers runs in each quarter to take a 58-56 lead into the break. South Bay went on a 12-2 run to put the team up 14-6 in the game’s opening minutes and would lead by eight on two other occasions in the period. Two Marcus Keene three-pointers sparked an 11-2 Hustle run to buoy the visitors from Memphis to a 28-27 lead after the opening frame. South Bay exploded to a 10-0 run to start the second quarter to take a nine-point lead, but the Hustle clawed its way back with a 13-4 run of its own to tie the game back up.

The Hustle were simply more efficient offensively, particularly from three-point range. Memphis knocked down its threes at a 51.6 percent clip (16-31 3P) while the Lakers shot just 31.7 percent (13-41 3P).

Markel Crawford had all six of his steals in the first half, setting a new Hustle single-game record. Dusty Hannahs (21 points) had another outing of 20 or more points, his eighth in his last 11 games, on just 10 field goals attempts (6-10 FG, 4-5 3P).  Kyle Casey poured in a season-high 18 points while Harvey also pitched in with 18 of his own. Tarik Phillip (14 points) and Doral Moore (12 points) also reached double figures.

Wear led the Lakers with 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Scott Machado (17 points, 11 assists) posted a double-double and Lakers assignee Isaac Bonga had 17 points of his own. Joel Berry II (16 points) and Justin Harper (14 points) each hit double digits off the bench.

The Hustle conclude a six-game road trip on Saturday, December 29 against the Stockton Kings at 9 p.m. CT. The team returns to Landers Center on Thursday, January 3 at 7 p.m. for its second straight game against the Kings. Tickets are still available starting at $10 each and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-HOOP.