Crawford Leads Hustle Past Oklahoma City for Third Straight Win
Oklahoma City - The Memphis Hustle (26-21) earned its third straight victory, and fourth in its last five games, by defeating the Oklahoma City Blue (30-16) 119-101 Friday night at Cox Convention Center. Memphis is still tied with Salt Lake City for fifth place in the Western Conference and both teams sit half of a game ahead of the Agua Caliente Clippers for the final two playoff spots.
Memphis native Markel Crawford scored a season-high 30 points off the bench (10-15 FG) and knocked down 8-of-13 three-pointers to lead the Hustle effort.
The Hustle only led by six (26-20) after the opening frame, but shot 52.6 percent (10-19 FG) while Oklahoma City managed just 32.0 percent (8-25 FG) from the field. Memphis owned a sizable advantage on the glass (18-5) in the period and outscored the Blue 16-8 in the paint. The Hustle trailed for the first several minutes of the game, but closed the period on a 13-0 run and held the Blue scoreless for the final 4:48 of the quarter.
Memphis went on a 10-0 run over a span of 3:16 in the second quarter to push its lead to double digits (41-30) with 5:36 remaining in the half. The Hustle would then outscore Oklahoma City 14-5 over the final two minutes of play, punctuated by two straight Jevon Carter three-pointers in the final 35 seconds, to take a 65-47 lead into halftime. Memphis would lead by as many as 25 and Oklahoma City would come no closer than a 12-point deficit in the second half.
The Hustle knocked down a season-high 20 three-pointers (20-42 3P) and outrebounded Oklahoma City by a margin of 57-38, including 15-7 on the offensive glass.
All five Memphis starters scored in double figures and three of them recorded double-doubles. Doral Moore had 17 points, tying a season-high, and 13 rebounds. The Hustle are now 6-0 when Moore posts a double-double and 16-5 when he scores in double figures. Tarik Phillip added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Julian Washburn (18 points, 10 rebounds) posted his fourth double-double in a Hustle uniform. Jevon Carter added 16 points and seven assists while Yuta Watanabe posted 13 points and seven rebounds.
Bryce Alford led Oklahoma City by scoring 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting (5-9 3P). Dez Wells (15 points), Chris Wright (13 points) and Justin Leon (10 points) each scored in double digits for the Blue off the bench. Kevin Hervey had 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Donte Grantham was one point and one rebound shy of a double-double.
The Hustle continue its three-game road trip on Sunday, March 17 at Sanford Pentagon against the Sioux Falls Skyforce at 5 p.m. Memphis returns to Landers Center for its final regular season game, and fourth and final meeting with Oklahoma City, on Monday, March 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available starting at $10 each and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-HOOP.
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