Hustle drop season opener in Showcase Cup

The Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ NBA G League affiliate, dropped the opening game of the 2021-22 season 95-90 to Mexico City Capitanes. This marked the first win in franchise history for Mexico City in their inaugural NBA G League game inside Landers Center Friday night.

Both teams struggled to get going offensively in the first quarter, but the Hustle defense was stout early on, limiting Capitanes to 29 percent shooting in the opening 12 minutes. Shaq Buchanan was the lone bright spot offensively in the first quarter, scoring seven points on 3-of-3 shooting.

Memphis held a 22-19 lead heading into the second quarter after leading by as many as eight points early on. Mexico City’s bench unit gave them a spark in the second quarter as they outscored Memphis’ second unit 16-4 to help cut the lead to one point at 42-41 heading in to the halftime break.

Mexico City jumped out to a 56-48 lead, their largest of the night, following a three-pointer from Justin Reyes with 6:21 to play in the third period. However, Memphis ended the quarter on a 19-10 run to retake the lead at 67-66 heading into the fourth.

Memphis came out hot in the fourth quarter, stretching the lead to as many as 15 points (81-66) with 8:39 to play. Following the dunk from Freddie Gillespie to give the Hustle their largest lead of the night, Mexico City outscored Memphis 29-9 to end the game, fueled by eight points late in the game from Matt Mooney. Mexico City forced the Hustle into 18 turnovers that led to 25 points, to help complete the comeback victory.

Buchanan led Memphis with 26 points (10-20 FG), four rebounds and two assists in 36 minutes of action. Gillespie posted a double-double with 12 points, 18 rebounds, five blocks and two assists on 5-of-9 shooting. Darnell Cowart totaled 11 points, three rebounds and two assists. Karim Mane posted 10 points, four rebounds and one steal. 

Alfonzo McKinnie posted a double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds on 5-of-24 shooting for Capitanes. Mooney tallied 14 points (4-12 FG), five rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. Justin Reyes led the Capitanes’ second-unit with 13 points, three rebounds and one assist. Tyler Davis added 11 points, eight rebounds and six blocks.

The Hustle return to action on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. inside Landers Center in a rematch with Mexico City Capitanes. Fans can watch the game on NBA TV.

DeSoto County News Service – News Release

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