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Memphis Hustle

The Memphis Hustle improved to 13-1 with a 132-120 win over the Texas Legends (9-6) Saturday night at Comerica Center, outscoring the home team 105-76 over the final three quarters. Memphis has won all three meetings with Texas this season, as well as the last six meetings overall, and has now recorded 11 double digit victories on the season. 

Texas got to the basket and scored at will in the opening period, scoring 28 points on 14-of-16 shooting in the paint alone while Memphis had just 27 points for the quarter. Overall, Texas shot 67.9 percent (19-28 FG) in the first en route to a 44-27 lead. Despite the early paint deficit, the Hustle would earn a 70-68 advantage in that category for the night.

The Hustle turned the tide in the second, starting the first 2:51 of the quarter on an 10-0 run to cut the deficit to seven. The visitors continued to chip away at the lead throughout the quarter and trailed 63-58 with 2:14 to go before going on an 8-0 run to take their first lead since the game’s opening minutes. Memphis outscored Texas 41-23 for the period to lead 68-67 at half time, shooting 60.9 percent from the field (14-23 FG) and 55.6 percent (5-9 3P) from long range while converting seven Texas turnovers into 17 points.

The momentum continued into the beginning of the third, with a pair of 6-0 runs boosting Memphis to its first double digit lead at 82-71 at the 8:36 mark. However, Texas responded with a 9-0 run over the next 1:46 to cut the Hustle lead to two. The Legends eventually tied the game at 90-90 with 2:16 left, but the Hustle would close the quarter on an 8-0 run.

Texas battled back for most of the fourth quarter and trailed just 118-117 with 3:41 remaining, but Memphis went on a 10-0 run over the next 2:53 to seal the game. The Hustle shot 13-of-21 (.619) in the final frame and knocked down all eight free throw attempts.

Jarrod Uthoff paced Memphis with a 26-point effort while also tallying 11 boards and seven assists for his seventh double-double of the season. Josh Jackson flirted with a triple-double, totaling 19 points, nine boards and eight assists. John Konchar (19 points, 10 rebounds) added a double-double of his own on an efficient 8-of-10 from the field.

After playing just 17 minutes in the first two meetings of the season, including zero in the season-opening meeting, Ahmad Caver had a season-high 23 points in a reserve role, shooting 8-of-11 overall and 4-of-5 from long range while also dishing a season-high seven assists. Caver has scored at least 15 points in each of his last four outings, with each effort coming from the bench. Matt Mooney and Marquis Teague added 12 points apiece.

Dakota Mathias led Texas with 25 points. Portland two-way player Jaylen Hoard added 21 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Fellow Portland two-way Moses Brown added 18 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-11 shooting. Memphis native Antonius Cleveland scored 16 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting night.

The Hustle travel next to Edinburg, Texas, for the team’s first meeting with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 11 a.m. inside Bert Ogden Arena. The team then travels to Las Vegas for the MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase Tournament, owning the top seed in the Championship Bracket and starting action against the fourth-seed Grand Rapids Drive on Friday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.