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Recap: Hustle defeat Blue in Sunday matinee

Hustle make OKC sing the Blues on Super Bowl Sunday

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Oklahoma City Blue v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

The Hustle return to action after having two days off with a home matinee against the Oklahoma City Blue on Super Bowl Sunday. The Hustle (4-10) look to get on the right track against the Blue (9-7) who will be without the production of assignment players Aleksej Pokusevski, Theo Maledon and Isaiah Roby. The Blue were also without two-way player Lindy Waters III leaving the Blue to rely heavily on D.J. Wilson and Melvin Frazier Jr. for their offensive production. The Hustle, meanwhile, had everyone available outside of Yves Pons, Freddie Gillespie and Sean McDermott.

It was all Blue early as they started the game on a 7-0 run and found themselves up 14-3 early on. The Hustle were able to settle in midway through the quarter and started cutting into the Blue lead. The Hustle were able to make it a 4-point game late in the first, but a quick run in the final minute helped the Blue take a 30-20 lead into the second quarter.

The Hustle came out firing offensively, going on an 8-2 run to start the quarter. The Hustle were able to make it a one possession game at 33-30 just few minutes into the 2nd quarter. The Blue were able to hold onto the slim lead throughout the quarter but the Hustle were able to finally take their first lead of the game in the final 4 minutes of the quarter. The Blue responded to the Hustle run as both teams traded baskets until the Blue took a 53-50 lead into the halftime break.

It was a solid first half for the Hustle with 8 of 9 players scoring in the first half, with Ahmad Caver and Shaq Buchanan leading the way with 11 points a piece. The Blue were led by Zavier Simpson (10 points) with Justin Jaworski chipping in 10 points off the bench.

Shaq Buchanan got to work early for the Hustle in the 3rd quarter, hitting two triples to give the Hustle an early lead. The Blue responded once again and took a 5 point lead midway through the 3rd quarter. Shaq Buchanan’s monster quarter continued and he ultimately finishes with 14 points in the quarter thanks to some strong shooting from beyond the arc and great defense to pick up a few steals. The Hustle run helped them take a 75-71 lead into the final quarter.

Both teams traded baskets to start the 4th, as the Hustle jumped out to an 8-point lead but the Blue rallied back. Both teams traded baskets throughout most of the 4th, as the Hustle held onto a slim lead until the Blue tied things up midway through the quarter. The Hustle were able to take a 3-point lead on the Blue with just under 2 minutes left in the game. Ahmad Caver was able to extend the Hustle lead to 6, 101-95, with 38.2 seconds left in the game with a banked triple. The triple was the dagger, as the Hustle held on to win 104-97 and improve to 5-10 on the season.

Quick Hitters

Shaq Buchanan remains fantastic. Shaq’s great play continued today after a relatively rough game on Thursday. Shaq has scored in double figures in every game but one since the regular season started, and has scored 20+ points in 6 of his last 7 games.

Shooting struggles don’t slow down Tyrell Terry. Terry hasn’t shot the ball well this season with the Hustle but he’s still found ways to impact the game beyond scoring. He’s been solid defensively and passing the ball. He also has a knack for hitting a few timely baskets late in the game.

All around game for Ahmad. Ahmad Caver flashed his all-around game for the Hustle, flirting with a triple-double. Caver finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists as the Hustle held on to defeat the OKC Blue.

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