Justin Tillman

Justin Tillman of the Memphis Hustle looks on during the action Monday night at the Landers Center in Southaven. The Hustle broke a four-game losing streak with a 114-112 victory over the Agua Caliente Clippers.  

On the heels of a 58-point performance Saturday night in a 131-128 overtime loss at Iowa, Tyler Harvey struck for 27 points more as the Memphis Hustle (18-16) defeated the Agua Caliente Clippers (16-16) 114-112 Monday night at the Landers Center in Southaven.

The win puts the Hustle into sixth place in the NBA G League Western Conference standings, which is important because the top six teams in each conference reach the postseason.

Each of the three division champions and the top three remaining teams regardless of division will keep playing at the end of the regular season.

Monday night, the Hustle led 28-27 after one quarter but trailed 60-58 at halftime. The tight contest continued in the second half, with both teams tied at 88-88 going into the final 12 minutes.

There were 20 lead changes and the game was tied 14 times on the night between Memphis and Agua Caliente.

With Memphis leading by a basket and just seconds remaining, a shot missed by Angel Delgado at the buzzer preserved the Hustle's victory.

“We were able to get defensive stops down the stretch,” said Memphis coach Brad Jones afterward. “Especially in the fourth quarter we had some big stops the last three minutes of the game that allowed us to close it out.”

Along with his 27 points, Harvey made six assists and three steals while hitting 11-of-19 shots on the night.

“I try to stay consistent and live in the moment,” Harvey said. “When our offense is going, we're attacking. When we get stagnant and watching, we're not at our best. I'm just glad we won.”

Jones said Harvey, a product of Eastern Washington who has played professionally overseas in addition to previous time in the G League, worked through a lot of different defenses thrown up against him.

“Tyler was a big part of their scouting plan,” said Jones. “They tried to do some different things defensively to take him away from his strong hand. They did a good job with it early in the game but Tyler figured it out and he had a really good second half.”

Delgado was the leader for the Clippers, as he scored 19 points and added a game-high 19 rebounds against the Hustle.

There are 16 games remaining in the regular season for the Hustle, but only seven will be played at the Landers Center, starting Friday night against Northern Arizona. Jones said his team needs to win at home in order to have a chance at the playoffs.

“We've had a stretch where we lost four in a row and lost two or three at home during that stretch,” Jones said. “That home court is very important for us.”

In addition to Harvey, Tarik Phillip Monday night approached a triple-double with 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Phillip has averaged 15.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists in the last two games. Doral Moore and Kyle Casey dropped in 17 points apiece. Moore’s total ties his season-high and Casey also added in nine rebounds.

PREP HOOP HIGHLIGHTS: Magnolia Heights basketball teams were in action at Kirk Academy and returned to Senatobia with a pair of the victories. The Chiefs took home a 61-54 win and the girls prevailed 41-40.

Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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