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Hustle Avenge Season Opening Loss in Home Opener

November 9, 2018 - NBA G League (G League) - Memphis Hustle News Release

Southaven, Miss. - The Memphis Hustle took some revenge out on Rio Grande Valley, defeating the Vipers in the Hustle's home opener at Landers Center 124-111. With the win, Brad Jones earned his first win as head coach of the Memphis Hustle and improved the team's record to 1-2 on the season.

The first half featured more lead changes (25) than minutes and seven ties as the teams went back and forth for its entirety. Memphis knocked down 20 of its first 36 field goal attempts (.556), but Rio Grande Valley stayed within reach with its three-point shooting, converting on 9-of-17 (.529) from long range to start the game while the Hustle started just 2-of-8 (.250) in that same span.

The Hustle held an 83-81 lead with 7:17 remaining in the third quarter before the defense clamped down on the Rio Grande Valley attack. Memphis would hold the Vipers to just seven points for the remainder of the quarter to take a double-digit lead (99-88) into the final frame, leading by as many as 16 before closing out the win.

Memphis earned the win despite shooting just 8-of-27 (.296) from three-point range while Rio Grande Valley knocked down 19-of-41 (.463) attempts, due in part to forcing nearly twice as many turnovers (23-12) and totaling 12 steals to the Vipers' three. Additionally, the Hustle almost doubled up the Vipers in points in the paint (66-36), taking advantage of a flurry of high-percentage of shots. Memphis also converted 28-of-32 (.875) free throw attempts.

Grizzlies assignee Jevon Carter and two-way player Yuta Watanabe led the way for Memphis, tying for the team-high 25 points apiece. Carter also grabbed six rebounds to go with three assists. He also grabbed three steals, marking the third straight game in which he has swiped at least three from his opponents. Watanabe was an efficient 8-of-12 (.667) from the field and converted on 8-of-9 (.889) free throw attempts. Doral Moore scored all 14 of his points (6-8 FG) in the first half. Brandon Goodwin (13 points,) Tanner McGrew (13 points) and Kyle Casey also reached double figures.

Two-way player Vincent Edwards and Danuel House led Rio Grande Valley with 16 points each. Five other players scored in double figures, including 15 points from starting point guard Angel Rodriguez. Rockets assignee Zhou Qi added 12 points while Brandon Sampson was held to just 11 after scoring 27 points in the first meeting between the two teams. Michael Frazier (13 points) and Dakarai Tucker (10 points) both reached double figures off the bench.

The Hustle play their Veteran's Day Game this Sunday, November 11 against the Austin Spurs at 3 p.m. Tickets are still available starting at $10 and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-HOOP.


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