Hustle Bounce Back and Beat Mexico City Capitanes 105-101 for Their Second Win of the Season.
The Memphis Hustle were back in Southaven on Sunday afternoon to take on what was projected to be one of their toughest matchups of the season so far, the Mexico City Capitanes. The Capitanes are probably the most NBA-level G League team… well because they are. They have four former NBA vets on their squad: Michael Carter-Williams, Kenneth Faried, Juan Tuscano-Anderson, and Trey Burke, although only Carter-Williams and Burke were the only two that were active in Sunday’s matchup, and of course, they made the biggest difference for their squad. Luckily for Memphis, its guys came to play, too.
The Capitanes were unsurprisingly led by Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke on Sunday afternoon, with Carter-Williams providing 20 points, four assists, four rebounds, and seven turnovers and Burke pouring in 28 points off of 9-20 shooting from the field. Carter-Williams did a lackluster job facilitating tonight, which was a major reason why Mexico City failed to find footing in this game. A very surprising 4:7 assist-to-turnover ratio is unexpected from a player with his experience and history, but luckily for the Hustle, he chose tonight to be an exception.
The Capitanes also failed to get any adequate bench production in this game, which forced them to rely heavily on their starters, including guard Ethan Thompson, who netted 43 minutes in an early-season matchup. This leaves Mexico City in a hole as it is now 1-3 on the season, which is a surprise for a team with so much NBA experience that is playing at a lower level.
As for the Hustle, everyone had it going tonight. G.G. Jackson led the team in scoring, while David Johnson and Cameron McGriff provided some much-needed bench energy to help seal this win. Jackson finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, and three assists on 50% shooting, including 3-7 from deep; David Johnson poured in 21 points on 6-11 shooting; Cameron McGriff provided 22 points, four rebounds, and an impressive four steals. The Hustle did a wonderful job Sunday afternoon of maintaining pace, playing more cautiously (only 15 turnovers), and executing more maturely down the stretch, as this one was a nail-biter.
In my opinion, this was as good of a game as you could’ve wanted from the Hustle on Sunday. Sure, blowouts are nice and convincing, but this proved the Hustle are growing and learning before our own eyes. The team had been winless since their last game at the Landers Center, was on a four-game losing streak, and was fresh off two consecutive losses in which they led by 15 or more with 10:00 minutes left.
The Capitanes played right along with the Hustle for the entire 48 minutes, and they maintained focus extremely well, not flinching and continuing to play their best ball. There’s nothing better than getting back on track after a rough patch, especially in front of your fans. Hopefully, the squad uses this as momentum and continues pushing back to .500 and above.
The Hustle will resume action Tuesday night at the Landers Center as they take on the Mexico City Capitanes once again at 7:00 p.m., looking to improve to 2-0 on this homestand. For tickets, call (901)888-HOOP, visit https://memphis.gleague.nba.com/ticket-central, or the Landers Center box office.
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