Fresh off a 110-109 buzzer-beater victory over the Texas Legends in Frisco, Texas on Sunday evening, Dec. 2, the Memphis Hustle looked to sweep the extended back-to-back when the Hustle hosted the Legends on Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Landers Center in Southaven, the Dallas Mavericks-affiliated team came away with a 101-97 victory. The Hustle play next against the Squadron at Birmingham, Alabama on Monday, Dec. 11.
Here’s a recap of the night’s Showcase Cup contest.
FIRST QUARTER: LEGENDS 28, HUSTLE 27
Texas took a 21-19 lead with about two minutes left in the quarter. Jordan Walker led the Legends in scoring with eight points, as did Kenneth Lofton Jr. lead the Hustle with eight. Taze Moore added seven for Texas and Adonis Arns scored six for Memphis.
HALFTIME: LEGENDS 55, HUSTLE 51
Jordan Walker led the Legends in the back-and-forth quarter with 10 points, but Kenneth Lofton Jr. of the Hustle led all scorers with 12. They were the only players in double figures in the first half. Texas outscored Memphis 27-24 in the quarter. The lead changed hands 11 times in the half and was tied five times. The Hustle’s biggest lead in the half was six and Texas had a five-point bulge in the first 12 minutes of play.
THIRD QUARTER: LEGENDS 85, HUSTLE 75
In the quarter, Kenneth Lofton Jr. led all scorers with 11 points for the Hustle and GG Jackson added seven. The Legends were led by Justin Jackson’s nine points, the only Texas player to be in all 12 minutes of the period. The Legends built an 11-point lead during the quarter while Memphis led only once in the 12-minutes span of the third. The lead changed hands four times and was tied twice. Texas outscored the Hustle 30-24 in the quarter.
FINAL: LEGENDS 101, HUSTLE 97
Taze Moore was the big offensive contributor for the Texas Legends in the final period, erupting for 11 of the team’s 16 points. Justin Jackson scored the other five. The Memphis Hustle were led by David Johnson, who scored seven of his team’s 22 points once the final quarter started. Texas entered the quarter with a 10-point lead and Memphis never led in the period.
POST-GAME COMMENTS FROM HUSTLE COACH JASON MARCH
“I thought it was a well-played basketball game, back-and-forth. They did pull the lead up to 10, but we held them to 16 points in the fourth quarter. We kept competing and I was proud of our group. We’ll knock down some shots as we move forward, hopefully, and I’ll promise you, we’ll keep working.”
“I think as a new group we’re still trying to learn from each other, execution is still an issue that we have to continue to work on and we will. I felt we had a chance and played well enough in the fourth quarter to give us a chance and didn’t quite get it.”
NOTES: Thursday’s game was another return home for Southaven product Taze Moore, who played high school basketball at Southaven High School. Moore played four years at Cal State-Bakersfield before transferring to Houston for his final college season. He was drafted by the Legends with the ninth-overall pick of the G League 2022 Draft. Moore and the Legends will be back during the regular season for a two-game series with the Hustle Feb. 9 and 11.
Thursday’s game was another one-game appearance for Kenneth Lofton Jr. with the Hustle. The parent Memphis Grizzlies assigned Lofton to the Hustle for Thursday’s game and then quickly recalled him back to the Grizzlies. The game was also the first appearance of the season with the Hustle for guard Jacob Gilyard, on a two-way contract with the Grizzlies