– Down 11 Points at Halftime, Ignite Holds Off Hustle, 104-101 –
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Feb. 24, 2021 – Down 11 points at halftime, NBA G League Ignite relied on veteran play and a stalwart defense down the stretch to hold off the Memphis Hustle, 104-101, Wednesday afternoon at AdventHealth Arena. Ignite improved to 6-3, while Memphis fell to 3-6 on the year.
Jarrett Jack scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, all but sealing Ignite’s victory with a pair of crucial free throws with 3 seconds remaining. He was one of seven Ignite players to finish in double figures, along with Jonathan Kuminga (17 points), Brandon Ashley (11), Daishen Nix (11), Isaiah Todd (10), Bobby Brown (10) and Jalen Green (10).
Bennie Boatwright scored 21 points on 7-15 shooting, including 5-13 from downtown, to lead the Hustle. Tyrell Terry added 19 points, plus 14 from Jontay Porter, 11 from Shaq Buchanan and 10 from Ahmad Caver.
The Hustle hit 12 3-pointers, including nine in the first half, and blocked nine shots – a season-high by an Ignite opponent – but Jack’s veteran leadership and a total-team defensive effort helped Ignite outscore Memphis 58-44 in the second half.
Ignite led by as many as eight points to start the game, but the first quarter ended in a 24-24 tie before Memphis connected on five 3-pointers in the second quarter to outscore Ignite, 33-22, and take a 57-46 lead into halftime. Boatwright had already notched 16 points on 6-10 shooting, including a 4-8 clip from 3-point range. No Ignite player had reached double figures.
With Memphis leading 71-59 nearly halfway through the third quarter, Ignite churned out an 11-0 run from 6:13 to 3:45 to cut the Hustle’s lead to just one point, 71-70. By the end of the quarter, t was Ignite who used five three-pointers to outscore the Hustle by eight points, trimming the Memphis lead to 81-78.
Neither team led by more than five points in the final stretch, and Terry’s driving layup with 35 seconds remaining made it a one-point game in Ignite’s favor, 102-101. With 12.2 seconds remaining and Ignite awarded with an out-of-bounds ball, Memphis issued a coach’s challenge and the call was overturned. Ignite’s defense held strong, forcing Memphis to foul and sending Jack to the line to put Ignite up 104-101 with 3.3 seconds on the clock.
Ignite continues the week against Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.