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Quick Recap: Hustle defeat Magic 132-130 in overtime thriller

The Hustle comeback from down 21 to defeat the Magic in overtime

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Birmingham Squardron v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

The Hustle return home tonight after winning both games of a two game road trip against the Birmingham Squadron and Texas Legends. It was the best of both worlds as the Hustle were able to use assignee Kennedy Chandler and two-way players Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Vince Williams Jr. to propel them to victory over the Squadron. The Hustle then went on to defeat the Texas Legends with just their G League roster as all 3 of the others were recalled by the Grizzlies.

The Hustle (7-6) enter tonight’s matchup against the Lakeland Magic (5-8) with a slim chance to find themselves in the actual single-elimination tournament at the Showcase Cup that tips off next week. To give themselves the best opportunity to be in the tournament, the Hustle need to win out with so many teams hovering above .500. Fortunately for the Hustle they had the most reinforcements for a game yet heading into the matchup with the Magic. In addition to the two-ways, the Hustle also got 3 assignment players in Kennedy Chandler, Jake LaRavia and Xavier Tillman with the Grizzlies off for the next few nights. The downside for the Hustle is that both Sean McDermott (concussion) and EJ Onu (ankle) popped up on the injury report as the team wraps up before Vegas.

The Hustle offense got things going early, but some defensive miscommunication allowed for the Magic to take an early lead on the Hustle. The Magic attacked the paint, with Zavier Simpson and Simi Shittu scoring the first 24 points for the Magic. Shittu did his work in the paint, while Simpson did his from beyond the arc where he hit four of his five attempts from beyond the arc. The Hustle and Magic had both offenses going as the Magic ultimately took a 34-30 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Magic opened the second quarter on an 11-4 run as they were able to extend their lead up to double digits. The Magic led by double digits in what was a relatively uneventful second quarter as the Hustle struggled defensively and securing defensive rebounds. Kenneth Lofton Jr. came alive late in the quarter, scoring on consecutive possessions to cut the Magic lead down to single digits at the halftime break.

The Magic took a 64-55 lead into halftime thanks in large part to a strong first half from the trio of Zavier Simpson (16 points), Simi Shittu (15 points) and Robert Baker (14 points). The Magic outscored the Hustle by 15 from beyond the arc, where the Hustle shot just 22.2%. Kennedy Chandler scored 12 points for the Hustle, while Xavier Tillman produced a solid first half scoring 9 points and picking up 7 rebounds. Both two way players scored 8 points a piece, while Jake LaRavia struggled with his shot scoring just 4 points on 1-5 shooting.

The Magic hit four triples in the opening minutes of the second half as part of an 18-10 run to extend their lead back up to 17 in quick fashion. The Hustle were able to go on a run to cut it back down to a 12 point deficit but Jay Scrubb was just too much in the quarter, scoring 22 points on 6-7 shooting from beyond the arc. The Scrubb run saw the Magic extend their lead by as much as 21 points in the quarter. The Hustle responded after trailing by 21 with a monster run to end the 3rd quarter. The Hustle went on a 20-2 run over a 3 minute span late in the 3rd quarter to cut the Magic lead down to 3 before they ultimately took a 99-94 lead into the final quarter.

A chaotic start to the 4th quarter saw the Hustle tie things up in the opening minute thanks to some opportune defense. The teams traded baskets throughout the quarter as neither team could really create any separation. The Hustle were able to take a one point lead late in the quarter, but the Magic responded with a quick 6-0 run to take a 5 point lead with just over 2 minutes remaining. Dakota Mathias hit continued his hot streak from beyond the arc, hitting a 4-point play to tie the game at 122 with a minute remaining. The Hustle took a 1 point lead with 16 seconds left but Aleem Ford hit a triple to give the Magic a 2 point lead with just 4.8 points remaining. The Hustle tried to get Mathias a look from deep but the Magic defended it well, leading to Xavier Tillman attacking the basket and getting the floater to drop at the buzzer to send the game into overtime with a target score of 132.

The Magic scored the first points in the overtime period thanks to two free throws. Jay Scrubb threw down a dunk followed by a Hustle shot clock violation but Jacob Gilyard steals the ball on the ensuing possession to tie things at 129. Jason March chose to foul Zavier Simpson on the next Magic possession, guaranteeing his team could get a good look for the win. Simpson split the pair and the Hustle got the ball down 130-129 with a chance for the win. Vince Williams Jr. got fouled on a layup attempt and split the pair of free throws but Justin Bean tips the rebound out to Dakota Mathias who misses the game winning triple but Vince Williams Jr. was there to throw down the game winning put back slam! The Hustle, after trailing by as many as 21, come back and defeat the Lakeland Magic 132-130 to improve to 8-6 on the season

The Hustle were led by a career high 36 points from Dakota Mathias, tying a career high with 8 makes from beyond the arc. Xavier Tillman was a monster for the Hustle, scoring 29 points and 16 rebounds and 5 assists. Vince Williams Jr. chipped in 17 points, including the game winner, along with 4 rebounds. Kenneth Lofton Jr. (10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists), Kennedy Chandler (12 points) and Jake LaRavia (6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) played limited minutes in the second half as Jason March rode the hot hand in the group of Jacob Gilyard, Dakota Mathias, Romeo Weems, Justin Bean and Xavier Tillman down the stretch and into overtime, with Vince Williams and Jake LaRavia checking in late.

The Hustle were able to overcome a monster 42 point game from Jay Scrubb who made 10 of his 14 shots from beyond the arc. The win sees the Hustle improve to 8-6 in the Showcase Cup with just 2 games remaining before they head out to Las Vegas.

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