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The Hustle Report: A Rough Road Trip

Hustle go 1-3 on their road trip from hell

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Week 18 Results

Memphis Hustle (22-19) 93 @ Santa Cruz Warriors 114

Memphis Hustle (22-20) 115 @ Stockton Kings 126

Memphis Hustle (23-20) 138 @ Agua Caliente Clippers 120

Memphis Hustle (21-21) 94 @ Salt Lake City Stars 110

Week 18 Headlines

  • Jevon Carter has career night vs. the Clippers
  • Hustle injury report grows as the season winds down

Game 41 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Jevon Carter- 22 points, 6 assists
  • Tarik Phillip- 14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Dusty Hannahs- 12 points, 3 assists
  • Doral Moore- 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals

Despite a strong first half, the Memphis Hustle dropped the first game of their 4 game road trip to the Western Conference leading Santa Cruz Warriors. The Hustle were able to jump out to a 10 point lead in the first half, before the Warriors ran away with the game outscoring the Hustle by 17 in the 3rd quarter. It was a solid effort from the Hustle, but with how well the Warriors take care of the ball (16 turnovers) it was going to be hard for the Hustle to steal a win even with the backcourt of Jevon Carter and Tarik Phillip.

Game 42 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 30 points, 3 rebounds
  • Tarik Phillip- 26 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals
  • Julian Washburn- 22 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Yuta Watanabe- 19 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals

Similar to the Warriors game, the Hustle were able to jump out to an early lead against the Stockton Kings, but the Kings were able to overcome the early start by the Hustle to get the victory. The Hustle played pretty well in the game, cutting the Kings deficit to under 5 multiple times in the second half but just couldn’t break through and retake the lead. Dusty Hannahs rediscovered his shooting stroke with a solid all around game on the offensive end. As great as the core guys have been with Tyler Harvey out due to injury, it looks like they’re going to need Harvey back if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Game 43 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Jevon Carter- 32 points, 9 assists, 3 steals
  • Dusty Hannahs- 25 points, 2 steals
  • Nino Johnson- 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks
  • Julian Washburn- 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Yuta Watanabe- 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
  • Tarik Phillip- 16 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals

The Hustle snapped their losing streak with a crucial win over the Agua Caliente Clippers on Tuesday night. The Hustle only played 8 guys, but nearly everyone stepped up as you can clearly see by the key stats above. The win snapped a 6-game winning streak for the Clippers who have been one of the hotter teams in the G-League the tail end of the season. The win also pushed the Hustle, at least momentarily, back into the playoffs as they were tied with the Skyforce for 5th after Tuesday night’s games. The Hustle were able to contain Clippers assignee Johnathan Motley and survived a career night from Angel Delgado who had 33 points and 23 rebounds. It was also a career night for Jevon Carter with his 32 points. Nino Johnson had arguably his best game in a Hustle uniform, having a strong presence on both ends of the court.

Game 44 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs-20 points, 3 assists
  • Markel Crawford- 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Tarik Phillip- 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
  • Jevon Carter- 14 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists

The Hustle’s injury report added another name to it going into last night’s game with Yuta Watanabe suffering a wrist injury. Being so shorthanded hurt the Hustle big time, as they just didn’t have the gas to keep up with a rested Salt Lake City Stars squad. The Hustle were able to keep it relatively close through the first 3 quarters, but unraveled in the 4th as the Stars ran away with the win.

Hustle Stats

8: After the 1-3 week, the Hustle dropped to 8th in the Western Conference, on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Fortunately for the Hustle, they’re only half a game back from the 5th spot which would put them back in the playoffs. With just 6 games remaining on the schedule, all against teams vying for a playoff spot, it’ll be a close race to wrap up the season.

26: Tarik Phillip has really stepped up as a go-to scorer for the Hustle in the absence of Tyler Harvey. Going into last night’s matchup against the Stars, Phillip averaged 26 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and nearly 2 blocks and 2 steals per game for the Hustle. Phillip has been an underrated all around player all season for the Hustle, but with Harvey out Phillip has stepped up in a big way.

Week 18 Grade - C

The Hustle had a relatively disappointing week going just 1-3 in what was truly a difficult road trip. The losses against both the Warriors and Kings were kind of expected, and the win against the Clippers was huge, but to run out of gas in a big time game was a bit unfortunate. I’ve been pretty generous on my grades so far this season, so it’s time to be a little hard on the team with the playoffs on the line. With another tough week ahead, Brad Jones will need to get his team to rally.

Week 19 Preview

Memphis Grizzlies v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Game 45: Santa Cruz Warriors @ Memphis Hustle 03/08 7 PM CT

Game 46: Sioux Falls Skyforce @ Memphis Hustle 03/11 7 PM CT

The Hustle will return home for a quick 2 game home stand that will help determine their playoff fate. First on the docket is the Santa Cruz Warriors, who have blown out the Hustle twice already this season. Although the first matchup was close in the first half, the Hustle fell apart in the second half and will likely need to hope Harvey is ready tomorrow night if they want to steal a win from a top contender in the G-League. The Warriors have a handful of players who can hurt you, and former Grizzly Deyonta Davis has turned it around to have a solid end of the season with the Warriors. Between Davis and Marcus Derrickson, the Hustle will have their hands full down low.

The Hustle will have the weekend off before a big-time showdown against the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Once comfortably in the playoff picture, the Skyforce have lost 6 in a row and are 1-9 in their last 10 games which has put their playoff hopes at risk as they are now in the thick of the Hustle-Clippers-Stars battle for the final two spots in the playoffs. Yante Maten has been one of the better G-Leaguers all season long, but the Skyforce lost depth as the season progressed. Still, the Hustle can’t overlook the Skyforce as Maten, Charles Cooke and Rodney Purvis have the talent to get the Skyforce out of their funk before it’s too late.

Be sure to head on out to Southaven this week as the Hustle will only have one more home game after Monday’s matchup against the Skyforce. With every game being an important one, there’s been a playoff-like atmosphere in Southaven for the past couple of weeks and you don’t want to miss out on it!

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