Photo: Memphis Hustle’s Davon Reed (1) sizes up Austin Spurs’ defender David Duke Jr. during second half action at the Landers Center Friday night. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
They play overtime a little bit differently in the NBA G League and it worked to the Memphis Hustle’s advantage in their 117-116 victory over the Austin Spurs at the Landers Center Friday night.
In the untimed extra period, the first team to score seven points wins the game, and when GG Jackson was fouled with the score tied 116-116 and a target score of 117, Jackson hit the first of two free throws to give the Hustle the point they needed to win.
Here’s a recap of the Hustle’s Friday night victory over Austin.
FIRST QUARTER: AUSTIN SPURS 27, MEMPHIS HUSTLE 21
Jason Preston led the Hustle in scoring with nine points in the quarter and David Duke Jr. came off the bench for seven points for Austin. The Hustle shot 28 percent from the floor in the quarter, while Austin blistered the net at 45.5 percent. Austin led by as many as eight points in the quarter and Memphis led by four at one time. There were five lead changes and one tie.
HALFTIME: AUSTIN SPURS 55, MEMPHIS HUSTLE 45
Preston ended the first half leading the Hustle with 14 points, the only Memphis player in double figures. Duke led the Spurs with a game-high 15 points. The Hustle averaged 33.3 percent from the floor in the first half. Austin shot 47.7 percent from the floor. The Spurs led by as much as 12 points in the half; Memphis led by four points.
THIRD QUARTER: AUSTIN SPURS 83, MEMPHIS HUSTLE 71
The Spurs opened up a 12-point lead late in the quarter, their largest of the game. Preston still leads Memphis in scoring with 16 points, but David Johnson has come off the bench for 13. GG Jackson also picked up the offense in the period and now has 11. Duke leads the Spurs with a game-high 21 points and Javante McCoy has added 13.
FINAL: MEMPHIS HUSTLE 117, AUSTIN SPURS 116 (OVERTIME)
Austin Spur Eric Stevenson’s deep three point shot as time was set to expire evened the game at 110-110. Memphis came back after trailing the Spurs 95-83 with 8:39 remaining, but a challenge on a foul call seemed to spark Memphis, which then put a run together that ended with the Hustle scoring the next 10 points to get within 95-93 within a minute after the challenge. A three-point from Matthew Hurt gave Memphis a 108-106 lead with two minutes remaining before Stevenson’s trey tied the game. The Hustle had rallied to score 39 points in the fourth quarter to the Spurs’ 27.
In the “first to seven” G League overtime, the Hustle never trailed but Austin rallied to tie the score at 116-116 before GG Jackson was fouled and made the first of two attempts to win the game. David Johnson led the Hustle in scoring with 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for a double-double. His three-point play opened the overtime. Six players were in double figures for the Hustle with Matt Hurt hitting for 17, Preston with 16, and Jackson with 14. Duke led all scorers with 27 points for the Spurs and Javante McCoy added 18. Sidy Cissoko fashioned a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Austin.
UP NEXT: The Hustle will travel to Orlando, Florida for the Winter Showcase, starting Dec. 19. While not qualifying for the final championship tournament, Memphis will play two games against teams to be determined to complete the Showcase Cup portion of the schedule. The complete schedule is determined after Sunday’s games have finished. All of the G League teams play in front of NBA general managers and team officials during the Showcase.
POST GAME COMMENTS:
JASON MARCH: “Coming out the half we just picked up everything and in the fourth quarter we started hitting shots, but it was fueled by our defense and that allowed us to run.”
On the challenge in the fourth quarter: “I was a little hot when the whistle was blown in the first place. I thought the foul was on them and then they called an offensive foul. I was pretty hot about it. I challenged it right away and then we won the challenge. That was a huge play for us and it provided a little spark for us and a little life.”
On the untimed first to seven points overtime: “I love it. I think last year we were 5-1 in it and this year we’re 1-0. We were the best team in the league last year in overtime. It’s a great wrinkle for the league, they hit a homerun on that. It adds a ton of excitement and I think it’s great.”
DAVID JOHNSON: “This win was huge for us. I think we needed something going into the Showcase and the way we played tonight showed what we’re capable of and how much more we can improve, so we’re pretty excited about that.”
NOTES: Two coaches connected with the Memphis Grizzlies organization have been coaches of the Austin Spurs, or Toros as they were called, earlier in their careers. Brad Jones coached the Toros for two seasons from 2010-2012 and the team won the 2012 NBA D League championship his last year there. The Grizzlies hired Jones in 2018 to be the Hustle’s head coach, where he was for one year before becoming a Grizzlies’ assistant coach to head coach Taylor Jenkins.
Jenkins was an assistant in Austin for four years, including Jones’ two seasons there. Jenkins became Austin coach after Jones departed and was head coach there for one year. Jenkins later came to the Grizzlies in 2019, where he is now their head coach.
Friday’s game was the second meeting between the teams this season, with Austin winning the season opener 130-101 on Nov. 28. The Hustle and Spurs will meet twice more during the regular season but both games will be in Texas.