The Memphis Hustle fell to the Sioux Falls Skyforce 101-96 on Saturday, concluding a seven-game homestand at Landers Center.
DJ Stewart totaled a game-high 32 points (11-21 FG) and five rebounds to pace Sioux Falls. Sam Thompson added 17 points and five rebounds while Martin Krampelj tallied 16 points and nine rebounds. Former Memphis Grizzlies guard and NBA veteran Mario Chalmers made his return to the Mid-South, finishing with five points and eight assists on 1-of-4 shooting.
Reggie Hearn posted a double-double with 22 points (8-15 FG) and 10 rebounds to lead Memphis. Damien Jefferson added 18 points, four rebounds and two assists off the bench for the Hustle. Ahmad Caver tallied 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Memphis used 12 fourth quarter points from Ben Moore to narrow a 17-point deficit down to three points, 97-94, but Sioux Falls connected on all its free throws down the stretch to hold on for the victory. The Hustle outshot the Skyforce 52 percent to 37 percent in the fourth quarter but were unable to complete what would have been the largest comeback of the season.
Despite outscoring the Skyforce in points off turnovers, points in the paint and second chance points, the Hustle were unable to overcome a 28-13 scoring differential from the free throw line.
Sioux Falls finished the first quarter on a 17-2 run to take a 28-18 lead after 12 minutes. The Hustle were limited to just 39 points in the first half on 34.1% shooting and 10 turnovers. The Skyforce held a 50-39 lead at the break behind 16 points from Stewart.
Sioux Falls stretched the lead to as many as 18 points before settling for a 74-62 lead after three quarters.
The Hustle begin a seven-game road trip with a matinee contest at Oklahoma City on Wednesday, March 2, at 11 a.m. CT. Fans unable to attend can catch the game on NBAGLeague.com.