Hustle drop G League season opener in bubble

The season began Wednesday for the Memphis Hustle in the NBA G League bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, but the opener was not successful for the Memphis Grizzlies’ affiliate. A fourth-quarter lead slipped away and the Austin Spurs came away with a 119-111 victory. 

Memphis was down 20-12 early but recovered to be down 28-24 at the end of the first quarter.  

Austin was able to grow their lead to 13 points in the second quarter at 56-43 and led 58-45 when the Hustle went on a 11-0 run to get within 58-56 at halftime.  Memphis was aided by Ahmad Caver’s 12 points in the second quarter, which included a trio of three-pointers.  

Memphis took control in the third quarter, scoring 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting and led 90-82 after three quarters of play.

The Hustle led 107-97 with 5:23 remaining, when Austin rallied with a 20-3 run for a 117-110 lead with just over 11 seconds left in the contest.  Memphis was held to just 27.3 percent shooting in the final quarter.   

“I think down the stretch our defense let us down a little bit, but there’s some things we just haven’t been able to cover yet,” March said about the short preparation time in the bubble ahead of the season start. “We’ll clean that up on film. I think we’ll be fine.”  

March said he wants his team to move the ball better than they did in this game. 

“Shots will go in for us, I’m not worried about that,” March said. “We’ll make shots, but I do want us to move the ball and play together a little bit better.”

The Hustle had six players score at least 14 points in the game with Shaq Buchanan getting a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds). Rookie center Freddie Gillespie also scored a double-double for Memphis with 14 points and 10 rebounds.  

Robert Woodard II led the way for Austin with a game-high 25 points. The box score and more information on today’s game are found on the Memphis Hustle website.

The Hustle will return to the court Thursday, Feb. 11, as they meet the Canton Charge at 2:30 p.m. inside HP Field House to conclude their season-opening back-to-back. Fans can watch the game at www.GrindCityMedia.com or stream it on ESPN+.

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