The Memphis Hustle improved to 14-1 with a 132-109 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (4-13) Tuesday afternoon at Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, Texas. Memphis has now recorded 12 double-digit victories on the season. With the win, the Hustle tied the best 15-game start in league history (Columbus Riverdragons, 2004).
The Hustle had a masterful afternoon with the ball, dishing a franchise-high 38 assists while committing just nine turnovers on the afternoon. Seven Hustle players recorded at least four assists, including the entire starting unit, while nine players dished at least three. On the other end, Memphis turned 23 Viper turnovers into 32 points. Through three periods, Memphis had committed just four turnovers.
Both teams put on an offensive display in the first half. Memphis led for the majority of the opening frame, but was unable to separate from one of the league’s top offenses despite 15 points from Jarrod Uthoff in the period. Additionally, Memphis shot 58.3 percent (14-24 FG) from the field, but led by just three (37-34) entering the second.
Leading by just one (45-44) with 8:48 to go in the half, Memphis tried to pull away with a 9-0 run over the next 1:50 to gain its first double digit lead. After the teams traded threes immediately, the Vipers went on an 8-0 run of their own to quickly cut the deficit back to two before Memphis pushed the lead back to 70-60 over the remainder of the half. In the second half, Memphis’ lead fluctuated between six and 16 in the third quarter before Memphis held a double digit lead for the entire final period.
Dusty Hannahs led the Hustle with 31 points, marking the second-highest scoring total in franchise history in a reserve role (Tyler Dorsey, 34 on March 19, 2019 at Salt Lake City). Hannahs also shot 11-of-17 from the field (6-10 3P) while dishing three assists. In his first appearance with the Hustle since November 22, Yuta Watanabe tallied 24 points (8-12 FG) on 4-of-6 shooting from long range to go with six boards, four assists and two steals. Uthoff finished with 21 points (8-11 FG) nine rebounds and four assists. Josh Jackson posted 15 points, five boards and four assists. Matt Mooney added 14 points to go with a game-high tying six assists. John Konchar amassed 11 points to go with nine rebounds, five assists and a game-high four steals.
Michael Frazier led the Vipers with 25 points on the day.
The Hustle travel next to Las Vegas for the MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase Tournament, where the team owns the top seed in the Championship Bracket and starts action against the fourth-seed Grand Rapids Drive on Friday, Dec. 20 at 9:30 p.m. CT inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.