Hustle Collapse in the Fourth Quarter, Blowing Double-Digit Lead and Falling to 1-3.
The Memphis Hustle were back in action Wednesday morning, seeking a bounce-back win against the Oklahoma City Blue after losing to them on Monday night, 118-104. Jake LaRavia was fulfilling his G League assignment from the Memphis Grizzlies and provided a spectacular performance for the squad, but unfortunately, it was not enough to lead the Hustle to a win.
The Oklahoma City Blue have the Memphis Hustle’s number; it’s apparent. In back-to-back matchups, the Blue have not only come out on top, but they’ve done it in a very impressive fashion. On Monday night, the Blue secured a double-digit victory over Memphis. Then, on Wednesday morning, Ja Morant’s former Murray State teammate, KJ Williams, nailed a game-winning three to solidify a 15-point comeback win.
Why, and how, did the Hustle go from being up 15 points with 10:00 minutes left to play to losing the game altogether? They simply got outplayed. The Blue were very active on the offensive and defensive glass; they maintained way better control of the ball and also had KJ Williams to save the day. Williams put on his cape, scoring 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter alone, including the game-winner.
On a brighter note, Jake LaRavia looked really good. He led the charge with 31 points, two assists, and a very impressive five steals. As I have said in previous articles, Jake has so much potential that he has shown at a collegiate and developmental pro level; it is just a matter of whether he can tinker with his game and also get the right opportunity to showcase his skillset. He shot 12-17 from the floor, 3-7 from three, and provided five steals in 33 minutes of action. Those stats while standing at 6’7? That prescription could help an injured Grizz team.
The Hustle also managed to get some solid production from Jason Preston and Adonis Arms tonight. Preston provided a 20-point, 10-assist double-double with five rebounds on the side, and Adonis Arms showed out with 15 points, five assists, eight rebounds, two steals, and three blocks. G.G. Jackson poured in 11 points on 50% shooting from the field with two rebounds, two assists, and three steals.
The Hustle will look to get a bounce-back win vs the Osceola Magic on Friday afternoon. LaRavia will not be active for the Hustle in the matchup, as he has reported back to the Memphis Grizzlies. Tip-off is at 6:00pm CDT.
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