The Memphis Hustle improved to 6-0 on the season, defeating the Oklahoma City Blue 113-111 Friday night at Cox Convention Center. The Hustle trailed by as many as 16 in the first quarter.
Oklahoma City roared to a 13-2 lead to open the game. Memphis would chip away to cut the lead to six, but the Blue finished the quarter on a 10-2 run to push the lead to 33-19. The Hustle, who entered the game leading the league in three-point percentage, shot 0-of-7 from long range in the period while the Blue shot a blistering 7-of-11 (.636) and 13-of-23 (.565) overall. Memphis finished the game shooting a season-low 35.3 percent (12-34 3P) from the field.
The Hustle cut away at the deficit and eventually tied the game at 40-40 after an 11-0 run over a stretch of 3:19 in the second, but still trailed 52-46 at the break. Memphis continued to chip away, taking its first lead of the game at 61-60 with 7:01 to play in the third. However, Oklahoma City responded immediately with an 8-0 run to regain a seven-point lead. The Hustle would tie the game multiple times early in the fourth, but the Blue maintained a two-possession lead for a large chunk of the second half.
With the Hustle trailing 111-106, Jarrod Uthoff hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to two with 1:02 remaining. On the ensuing Oklahoma City possession, Grizzlies assignee Josh Jackson forced two-way player Luguentz Dort into a travel, setting up Uthoff to tie the game with a reverse layup at 37.8 seconds to go. A missed Oklahoma City three on the next possession allowed the Hustle to play for the last shot. Matt Mooney drew a foul on Memphis’ final possession, knocking down both free throws with 6.1 seconds left before the Hustle sealed the game on the other end.
Jackson (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Uthoff (20 points, 10 rebounds) both finished with double-doubles to pace the Hustle. Jackson had a massive second half, recording 23 of his 25 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists. Two-way player Yuta Watanabe also contributed heavily to the victory with 24 points and seven rebounds. Dusty Hannahs (14 points) and Matt Mooney (10 points) also reached double figures.
Devaughn Akoon-Purcell led Oklahoma City with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting in a reserve role. Former Grizzlies two-way player Myke Henry finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Thunder assignee Justin Patton finished with 16 points and six boards. Abdul Gaddy recorded a game-high 14 assists.
The team returns to Landers Center on Monday, November 25, to take on the Maine Red Claws at 7 p.m. 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.