The Memphis Hustle dropped its second game in as many nights, falling to the Maine Red Claws 99-98 Saturday night at the Portland Exposition Building. Memphis led by as many as 26, marking the largest comeback allowed in Hustle history.
After building a 75-49 lead nearly midway through the third quarter, Memphis allowed the Red Claws to cut the lead to 15 at the end of the period (84-69). With the Hustle leading 91-75 with 7:22 left in the game, Maine went on a 16-0 run over the next 3:20 to tie the game.
The Red Claws gained their first lead since the 3:42 mark in the first quarter at 97-96 with 50.1 seconds to go, courtesy of two free throws by Archie Goodwin. After drawing a foul on a defensive rebound with 2.9 seconds left, Tyler Harvey knocked down two of his own to regain the lead. On the ensuing possession Goodwin drew another foul and helped the Red Claws take their final lead. Memphis’ lob attempt to Yuta Watanabe didn’t connect at the buzzer.
Memphis, the top three-point shooting team in the league, stayed true to form in the first half, shooting 7-of-11 (.636) from the beyond the arc, which included an 83.3 percent clip (5-6 3P) in the second frame. The Hustle outscored the Red Claws 33-21 in the second quarter in route to a 58-41 halftime lead. The Hustle would cool off in the second half, shooting just 3-of-15 (.200) from three and 31.7 percent overall.
Harvey led Memphis with 22 points along with six boards and three assists. Watanabe added 13 points and seven rebounds. Nino Johnson had 10-or-more rebounds for the second straight game, pulling down a season-high with 12. Tarik Phillip (12 points), Dusty Hannahs (10 points) and Marcus Keene (10 points) also reached double figures.
R.J. Hunter poured in 24 points for the Red Claws. Archie Goodwin had 24 of his own to go with eight boards and seven assists. Celtics assignee Robert Williams III (16 points, 12 rebounds) finished with a double-double and made all eight of his field goal attempts.