The current losing streak for the Memphis Hustle NBA G League basketball team reached three on Sunday afternoon with a 122-113 defeat to the Drive in Grand Rapids, Mich. The victory continued the Drive’s current win streak at six.
Second half scoring woes plagued the Hustle Sunday as the Drive erased a 10-point halftime lead by outscoring Memphis 69-50 in the second half. The Hustle had led by as much as 18 points at one time in the second quarter.
Dusty Hannahs led the Hustle in scoring with a game-high 26 points and Kobi Simmons added 21. Shaquille Thomas scored 20 points and Omari Johnson added 13 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.
Brice Johnson scored double figures in his Hustle debut with 10 points against the Drive.
The Memphis Grizzlies added Johnson to the Hustle roster over the weekend. A 6-foot-10 forward, Johnson was acquired from the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, Feb. 8.
The 23-year-old, who had a four-year collegiate career at North Carolina, has averaged 13.4 points and 9.5 rebounds in 24 G League games with Agua Caliente and Grand Rapids. He’s also played in nine NBA games this year with the L.A. Clippers, who traded him to Detroit on Jan. 29.
Johnson was selected with the 25th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft.
Before Johnson’s arrival, the Hustle dropped a 122-116 result to Agua Caliente Friday night at the Landers Center in Southaven. The team was without Durand Scott, not with the team on a personal issue, and Thursday had waived Trahson Burrell, who averaged 13.3 points a game in 32 appearances with the team this season.
Coach Glynn Cyprien said an inability to make plays on the defensive end hurt the Hustle Friday night.
"We just couldn't get stops when we needed them," Cyprien said. "Defense, I thought, let us down. When you get into a dogfight like it was tonight, you’ve got to be able to get stops at the end of the game and, unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that.”
Rookie Jeremy Morgan, who scored 23 points and added nine, led the Hustle Friday night. Morgan, who led Northern Iowa in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks and steals as a senior last year, nailed 9-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-8 from three-point range in the game.
“I thought Jeremy played well,” Cyprien said. “Obviously he made shots, but he was good on defense. We expect that out of him and he is starting to get his rhythm back after an injury. We really think highly of Jeremy.”
“Teammates did a good job of finding me when I was open,” Morgan added. “I wish we could have gotten that win.”
Memphis plays at Sioux Falls, S.D. Tuesday night to wrap up their current road trip. Following the All-Star break, the Hustle return home to play Northern Arizona Wednesday, Feb. 21 at the Landers Center, starting at 7 p.m.