NAZ Suns Lose as Memphis Hustle Makes History
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona Suns took on the team with the best record in the NBA G League on Thursday, and after the game, their opponent turned into the best team through 10 games in league history.
The Suns (2-8) fell to the Memphis Hustle at the Findlay Toyota Center 130-104. The Hustle improved to 10-0 with the win, becoming the first team in NBA G League history to start a season 10-0. The only other team to start a season 9-0 was the 2013-14 Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Both teams were neck-and-neck most of the opening quarter, with Memphis up 21-19 through the first nine minutes. The Hustle would end the quarter on a 12-4 run, and they didn't look back from there. Memphis led by as many as 29 points, and the Suns would get as close as 15 points down in the second half.
Memphis rebounded from its worst shooting performance of the season on Tuesday with a 49-of-96 (.510) clip from the field and 16-of-38 (.421) mark from downtown today. The Suns made 40-of-86 (.465) from the floor and 6-of-21 (.286) from distance, a season-low in three-point makes. There were only 28 combined turnovers in this one, with the Hustle winning the battle of the boards 45-37.
Jared Harper led the Suns in scoring for the fifth time, earning his sixth 20+ point performance in his ninth game played. He had 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Tariq Owens earned his team-leading third double-double of the season with 11 points (5-11 FG), 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Five other Suns scored in double figures tonight, including Jalen Lecque (16 points, 7-12 FG, six assists, four rebounds), Aaron Epps (11 points), Norense Odiase (10 points, 3-5 FG, five rebounds), Daxter Miles Jr. (10 points) and Keljin Blevins (10 points, 4-6 FG).
Josh Jackson led Memphis in scoring again with 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-9 from distance, to go with six rebounds. Dusty Hannahs recorded 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting (4-8 3PT) and three rebounds. Jarrod Uthoff tallied 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
The Suns will hit the road for one before returning home. They'll play at the Salt Lake City Stars on Saturday at 7 p.m. MT. The Hustle will continue their four-game road trip at the South Bay Lakers on Saturday at 6 p.m. MT.
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