The Memphis Hustle tied the longest winning streak in franchise history Monday night, completing its fifth straight win with a 137-120 victory over the South Bay Lakers at Landers Center. Memphis improved to 5-0 and has won all five games by double digits.
The Hustle started fast yet again, leading 11-0 and forcing South Bay into four turnovers and 0-of-7 shooting in the first 3:10 of the game. Memphis pushed the lead to 25-10 before South Bay rallied back over the final 3:21 of the quarter to cut the deficit to 32-27. Grizzlies assignee De’Anthony Melton responded with seven quick points to open the second period, including a four-point play to push the lead back to double digits.
Memphis led by as many as 20 in the second quarter, but South Bay rallied back yet again by finishing the first half on a 16-4 run over the final 3:56 to cut the lead back to seven (70-63). The Lakers eventually cut the lead to two early in the third quarter, but the Hustle would win the third by a margin of 43-29 while shooting 63.0 percent (17-27 FG) from the field and knocking down nine three-pointers (9-16 3P).
The Hustle’s 14 second-half three-pointers set a new franchise record for threes in a half (13 at Northern Arizona; Dec. 16, 2018), while the team’s 137 points are just four shy of a franchise mark and the second most in a home game (141 vs. South Bay; March 23, 2018). South Bay’s reserve unit helped the team make multiple runs at big Memphis leads, nearly doubling the Hustle’s scoring output from the bench (77-39).
Melton paced Memphis with a productive line of 27 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Melton shot 10-of-15 from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Fellow assignee Josh Jackson also stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 22 points, six boards and three steals. Two-way player Yuta Watanabe finished with a season-high of 22 points to go with seven rebounds. Jarrod Uthoff had a double-double by halftime, ultimately finishing with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Four of South Bay’s top five scorers came in reserve roles, led by Devontae Cacok’s 20-point, 14-rebound performance. Gary Payton II (17 points, 11 rebounds) also finished with a double-double. David Stockton (19 points, nine assists) narrowly missed a double-double of his own, falling one assist shy.
The Hustle travel to Oklahoma City this week to take on Midwest Division foe Oklahoma City Blue this Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Cox Convention Center. The team returns to Landers Center Monday, Nov. 25, to take on the Maine Red Claws at 7 p.m.