It was a 24-point turnaround for the Memphis Hustle, but the NBA G League team came back from 16 points down to defeat the Salt Lake City Stars 104-96 in Kissimmee, Florida on Monday afternoon.
At one time in the contest, part of the G League “bubble,” Memphis trailed 34-18 in the second quarter, but the Hustle rallied for the eight-point victory and evened their recond out at 2-2 ahead of a Wednesday evening game against Oklahoma City.
“I was just really proud of the guys for sticking with it,” Hustle coach Jason March said. “I felt like if we could keep it close until halftime, we may be able to make a run at them. If we could knock down some shots and if we kept playing the right way. That’s pretty much what happened.”
Monday’s victory was the first one for Memphis over Salt Lake City since March 2019. The Hustle outscored the Stars 63-45 in the second half.
The Stars took their largest lead of the game with 9:37 to play in the second quarter at 34-18 following a pull-up jumper from Yogi Ferrell, but Memphis came within 10 points at 51-41 at halftime.
The turnaround in the third quarter came with a 21-10 finish to the quarter, holding the Stars to 32 percent shooting for the 12-minute session, and 11.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Memphis’ first lead of the game came early in the fourth quarter at 72-70 when Ahmad Caver hit a fadeaway jumper at the 11:43 mark.
David Stockton led Memphis in scoring with 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes. Stockton’s point total moved the G League salt veteran into historic territory.
“He reached a huge milestone, cracked the top 20 in G League points scored,” March said. “He also reached the 3,000 career point mark, so those were two huge milestones for him, at any level. He competes every single day, every time he’s on the floor at practice, shootaround, whatever. He’s just a competitor.”
The former standout at Gonzaga is now at 3,019 career G League points with Memphis and two other teams, including last year with the South Bay Lakers.
Tyrell Terry and Sam Merrill each had 17 for the Hustle, Freddie Gillespie scored 14 points and added 15 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Shaq Buchanan led the Hustle in bench scoring with 12 points.
Tyler Bey totaled a game-high 22 points for Salt Lake City.
Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City Blue will be at 6:30 p.m. Central time.