Ontario, Calif. – The Memphis Hustle (25-10) entered the NBA All-Star Break on a high note, snapping a five-game road losing streak with a 111-97 victory over the Agua Caliente Clippers Tuesday inside Toyota Arena. Memphis enters the break leading the Western Conference and clinched the regular season series against Agua Caliente with the win.
The teams played to 15 lead changes in the first quarter alone before Memphis took the lead at the 1:27 mark for the rest of the quarter. Shaq Buchanan nailed a three with less than a second left to put Memphis on top 32-28 entering the second. The Hustle would then go on a 12-2 run over a stretch of 3:52 to obtain a 12-point lead (46-34) with 7:03 left in the half. The Clippers would respond promptly with a 14-2 run of their own, spanning 4:06, before taking a 60-58 lead into the locker room.
Memphis would tie the game on three occasions early in the second half, but an Ahmad Caver three-pointer at the 6:10 mark of the third quarter gave Memphis the lead for good. A 7-0 run ending with 6:12 left in the fourth doubled Memphis’ lead over a span of 2:50 and the team eventually pushed its lead to 17 in the final minute.
Jarrod Uthoff (27 points, 13 rebounds) had another big night for Memphis and recorded his 16th double-double of the season while shooting 12-of-20 from the field. After missing the last six games on a two-way transfer to the Grizzlies, John Konchar compiled 17 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and four steals, marking his fifth double-double. Ahmad Caver added 17 points, six rebounds and five assists in a reserve effort while Shaq Buchanan added 15 points and eight rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting off the bench. The Hustle lost the turnover battle for just the third time this season, but made up the deficit by shooting 53.3 percent from the field while holding the Clippers to just 42.2 percent.
James Palmer Jr. led the way for Agua Caliente with 24 points, eight boards, three steals and two assists. Donte Grantham (10 points, 13 rebounds) added a double-double for the Clippers. J.J. Avila (17 points), former Hustle guard Markel Crawford (16 points) and Desi Rodriguez (15 points) also reached double figures.
The Hustle return to action on Wednesday, February 19 at 7 p.m. against the Sioux Falls Skyforce inside Landers Center. 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.