The Hustle wrapped up their 4 game home stand looking to extend their winning streak to 3 against the South Bay Lakers. The Hustle hoped to win the season series against the Lakers after splitting the first two matchups. The Hustle needed to slow down Isaac Bonga, Travis Wear and Memphian Johnathan Williams. The Hustle would be without Jarnell Stokes, who was cut earlier in the day to make room for new two-way signee Julius Washburn. The Hustle did have Ivan Rabb down on assignment, but his minutes figure to be limited with the potential to play in 3 games in 3 nights.
Neither team could jump out to a substantial lead in what was an up and down 1st quarter. Yuta Watanabe was in his bag early with 8 points and 3 rebounds in the opening quarter as the Hustle lead 23-22. Rabb chipped in 4 points and 2 rebounds off the bench for the Hustle to help them jump out to the early lead. Travis Wear leads the Lakers with 8 points and 3 rebounds.
The Lakers jumped out to a slight lead over the Hustle in the 2nd quarter thanks to some hot shooting from 3. The Lakers jumped out to an 11 point lead but the Hustle were able cut into the deficit to 6 by the end of the half. The Lakers lead the Hustle 50-44 at the half behind Travis Wear (19 points) and Robert Heyer (9 points) while the Hustle were led by Ivan Rabb’s 12 points. The box score shows a pretty even game so far, with the biggest difference being the Lakers outscoring the Hustle by 9 points from beyond the arc.
The Lakers jumped out to an 11 point lead early in the 3rd quarter, but a Hustle run that saw Yuta Watanabe and Tyler Harvey combine for 18 points brought the Hustle back within a single possession. A late run by the Lakers gave them a nice 76-69 lead at the end of the 3rd. Yuta leads the Hustle with 21 points and 9 rebounds while Rabb and Harvey are the only other Hustle players in double figures with 12 and 11 points a piece.
Both teams caught fire in the 4th, as the Hustle cut the game to a single possession midway through. Markel Crawford went for 6 straight points, while Yuta, Rabb and Harvey all had quick scoring outbursts. Unfortunately for the Hustle, anytime they got close to taking back the lead, the Lakers hit a dagger in response. The Hustle couldn’t break through and retake the lead, ultimately falling to the Lakers by a final score of 113-106. The Lakers had 8 players score in double figures to lead them to the victory. Yuta Watanabe led the Hustle with 24 points and 9 rebounds.
Joining Yuta with double figures was Ivan Rabb (19 points), Markel Crawford (17 points), Tyler Harvey (16 points), and Dusty Hannahs (11 points). The loss snaps a 2 game win streak for the Hustle as they split their homestand 2-2.