Southaven, Miss. – 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 (51-95 FG). 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. Jamel Artis had 22 points of his own. Jerome Robinson posted 18 points and six rebounds. Manu Lecomte (12 points), J.J. Avila (10 points) and Anthony Bennett (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Clippers.
The team will host the second half of a back-to-back at Landers Center tomorrow 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 benefitting the Tunica Humane Society. Auction information will be provided later this week and Hustle fans wishing to bid should follow @MemphisHustle on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information.