The Memphis Hustle defeated the Agua Caliente Clippers 119-116 Friday night at Landers Center in a tight game that featured 24 lead changes and 12 ties. Tyler Harvey put a dent in the Clippers' hopes with a 20-footer for the game's final basket with 9.4 seconds left.
The Hustle were against the ropes late, down 115-112 with 1:15 remaining in the game before a Harvey steal led to a clear path foul on Jamel Artis in transition. Harvey knocked down both free throws and Jarnell Stokes knocked down a mid-range jumper on the ensuing possession as the Hustle regained the lead.
The teams played as tight as a first half as could be expected, with 13 lead changes and four ties before the Clippers took a 63-61 lead into halftime. Agua Caliente held a slight deficit despite being outshot by more than nine percent both overall and behind the three-point line. The Clippers opened the second half on a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the game at 70-61 and would hold the lead through most of the third quarter, but the Hustle chipped away and took an 89-88 lead into the final frame.
Memphis took advantage of high-percentage opportunities all night, outscoring Agua Caliente 76-52 in the painted area and shooting 53.7 percent from the field.
Memphis' 76 points in the paint were just two points shy of a season-high, when the team put up 78 in its win over Raptors 905 on Dec. 19.
Grizzlies assignee Ivan Rabb led all scorers with 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go with seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Stokes had a rousing Hustle debut, providing a spark off the bench and posting 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Harvey finished with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Tarik Phillip also had a productive line, recording 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Angel Delgado had a great night inside for the Clippers, notching 26 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Hustle will host the second half of a back-to-back at Landers Center Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Texas Legends for Dog Days of Winter. Hustle fans may bring their furry friends, with a limit of two per group, and each dog will receive free admission to the game at Landers Center.
The team will don a special dog-themed jersey (attached), that will be auctioned off benefiting the Tunica Humane Society.