The Memphis Hustle sustained a 120-117 loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors on Friday in front of a sold-out crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
Hustle wing Shaq Buchanan connected on a 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds remaining in the contest to cut the Warriors’ lead to one point, 118-117. After two free throws from Santa Cruz, Memphis inbounded the ball with 6.7 seconds to play but were unable to connect on two different 3-point shot attempts as the Warriors escaped with the victory.
Jerome Robinson led the Warriors with a game-high 33 points, including 21 points in the second half, on 11-for-21 shooting. Quinndary Weatherspoon totaled 22 points (11-17 FG), nine rebounds, two assists and two steals. Frankie Ferrari posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists.
Santa Cruz racked up 37 assists, including a game-high 11 assists from Kendall Smith.
Three Hustle players scored over 20 points, including Ahmad Caver with a team-high 28. Santi Aldama tallied 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists and Buchanan added 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. The NBA G League leader in blocks, EJ Onu, finished with five blocks in 14 minutes. Damien Jefferson posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Santa Cruz outscored Memphis 68-50 in points in the paint and 23-8 in points off turnovers.
Robinson and Weatherspoon scored 12 points apiece in the first half with Santa Cruz taking a 55-47 advantage into the locker room. Aldama scored 13 of his 23 points in the third quarter but the Hustle were trading baskets with the Warriors in the second half.
The Hustle look to split the back-to-back with the Warriors tonight, March 5, at 9 p.m. Central time. Fans unable to attend can catch the game on NBAGLeague.com.