The Birmingham Squadron (8-6), NBA G League affiliate of the New Orleans Pelicans, defeated the Memphis Hustle (4-9) for the second time this week, this time in a 122-110 rout at Legacy Arena on Tuesday night, Feb. 8.
Birmingham was on fire as soon as the ball was tipped, scoring 45 points in just the first quarter, the most points the team has scored in a single quarter this season. Stacked up against the rest of the league, this is the third most points scored by any team in a single quarter this season, bested only by the Maine Celtics in their Jan. 22 and Feb. 4 games against Grand Rapids Gold and the Westchester Knicks where the team scored 46 points in one quarter during each game.
The game was a consistent climb for the Squadron and was only tied three times during the first six possessions. After that, Birmingham maintained the lead for the remainder of the night, leading by as many as 43 in the third quarter.
The Squadron’s shooting accuracy was the clear key to their victory tonight as the team shot a strong 54.4 percent from the field (49-for-90) and 50.0 percent (14-for-28) from behind the arc, overpowering the Hustle’s 47.0 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from the three-point line.
Birmingham won with a balanced offensive attack, spreading the scoring between six players who scored in double digits, including guard Joe Young who led the team with 28 points, Darius Adams (20), Zach Hankins (17), John Petty Jr. (16), Ike Anigbogu (13) and Riley LaChance (12).
Squadron forward Zylan Cheatham led the team in rebounds for the sixth time this season with 12 and added nine points and four assists. His performance helped his case as one of the league’s best rebounders, pushing his season average to 11.1 rebounds per game, tied for sixth in the league.
Shaq Buchanan led the way for the Hustle yet again, posting 28 points (9-for-18), two rebounds, one assist and two steals.