Hustle Hold off Legends for Season Opening Win
Southaven, Miss. - The Memphis Hustle won its season opener Friday night at Landers Center, defeating the Texas Legends 105-95. After Memphis led by as many as 21 (75-54) in the second half, Texas cut the lead to five (84-79) with 7:56 remaining before the Hustle pushed the lead back to double digits.
Memphis was solid on both ends of the floor in the opening frame, bursting out to a 32-18 lead. However, the Texas defense would stiffen up in the second, holding Memphis to just eight points through the first 9:12 of the second quarter and keeping the game within reach.
After a 50-39 halftime lead, the Hustle opened up the second half on a 7-0 run to stretch the lead to 18 and eventually to its peak at 75-54 with 2:53 left in the third. Texas would outscore Memphis 25-9 over the next 5:57 to cut the lead to five.
The two teams combined for 48 turnovers, with Memphis forcing an opponent franchise-high 28 turnovers and also setting a franchise record with 37 points off of Texas turnovers. The Hustle also held Texas to just 5-of-34 (.147) from beyond the arc.
Jarrod Uthoff led all scorers with 23 points to go with eight rebounds. Dusty Hannahs poured in 19 points off the bench, shooting 3-of-6 from three-point range. Grizzlies assignee Josh Jackson totaled 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Two-way player John Konchar added in 16 points while Matt Mooney posted 11 of his own. Two-way player Yuta Watanabe led all players with 12 rebounds.
All five Legends starters reached double figures in a balanced effort for the visitors, led by Dakota Mathias and his 19-point outing. Former Grizzlies guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes added 16 points and seven rebounds. Mavericks assignee Isaiah Roby (10 points, 10 rebounds) posted a double-double while Trail Blazers two-way player Jaylen Hoard (14 points, nine rebounds) fell one rebound shy.
The Hustle will travel to Texas tomorrow night for a rematch with the Legends at 7:30 p.m. inside Comerica Center. Fans can tune in at gleague.nba.com.
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