The Memphis Hustle finished the fourth game of its West Coast swing with a 111-92 victory over the Agua Caliente Clippers Monday afternoon inside Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. Memphis improved to 11-1 on the season and clinched the top seed in the Championship Bracket at the 2019 MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas.
In the first half, the Hustle countered another off night from long range by attacking the paint and capitalizing on Clippers mistakes. Memphis shot 19-of-25 (.760) in the painted area for the half, outscoring the Clippers 38-16 in that category. The Hustle also turned 15 Clippers turnovers into 24 points in the first half and shot 54.8 percent (23-42 FG) from the field despite missing all 10 three-pointers in the half. The game was tight throughout the half with seven lead changes and five ties, but Memphis closed the second quarter on a 9-0 run over the final 1:29 to take a 54-42 lead into the break.
Agua Caliente threatened in the third quarter by cutting the lead to as little as four (65-61) at the 5:46 mark, courtesy of a 4-of-4 display from beyond the arc out of former Hustle guard and Memphis native Markel Crawford. However, Memphis stymied the Clippers rally to keep the lead at 82-71 entering the final frame.
The Clippers were within striking distance in the fourth, trailing 90-81 with 9:21 remaining, but Memphis went on a 14-2 run over the next 5:06 to put the game out of reach.
For the game, Memphis fell just 0.1 percent shy of tying a season-high by shooting 54.2 percent from the field (45-83 FG). The Hustle also earned the win despite making just four three-pointers, one shy of a franchise low, and shooting a season-low 19.0 percent (4-19 3P) from the field. The team entered the game leading the league in three-point percentage. Memphis additionally finished major advantages in points in the paint (68-36), fast break points (21-5) and points off turnovers (31-16).
Marquis Teague stepped up in his first start of the season, leading all scorers with 25 points (11-17 FG) to go with five rebounds and four assists. Ahmad Caver had his best outing of the season, scoring 21 points off the bench and dishing a game-high six assists. Jarrod Uthoff added in 17 points and seven boards. Matt Mooney poured in 16 of his own while Shaq Buchanan had a season-high 12 points.
Crawford finished with 20 points to lead the Clippers, connecting on all five of his three-point attempts and shooting 7-of-8 overall. Johnathan Motley finished with 18 points and 11 boards. Garrett Nevels (14 points) and former Grizzlies guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (12 points) also reached double digits.
The Hustle return to the Landers Center on Wednesday, December 11 to take on Midwest Division rival Sioux Falls Skyforce at 7 p.m.