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Grant Leads Flash to Win in First Start

Utah 114, Reno 108

OREM, Utah, Dec. 15, 2008 -- Gavin Grant recorded a game-high 28 points in his first professional start to help the Utah Flash snap a three-game losing streak with a 114-108 victory over the visiting Reno Bighorns on Monday at the McKay Events Center.

Grant, who was starting in place of injured Boston Celtics’ assignee J.R. Giddens, entered the night shooting 30 percent from the field on the season, but picked up his game-high 28 points with a 10-for-16 (62 percent) shooting performance.

“I felt like things went well.” Grant said. “Our star player is down, so I had an opportunity to get out there and play a lot of minutes tonight, and I think it went well for me.”

Utah (3-5) will return home Friday for a matchup against the Bakersfield Jam before closing out the calendar year with a four-game road trip. The Bighorns (1-6), who dropped their fifth-consecutive game, will head to Sioux Falls for the third game of a seven-game road trip.

Over the course of its three-game losing streak, Utah had averaged only 84 points per game and had lost by an average margin of 19 points. But after a Dontell Jefferson jump shot capped an 18-3 first quarter run, the Flash took a controlling 29-15 lead into the second period en route to snapping its losing streak.

“I’m hoping that they are going to throw a parade down Center Street in Orem for us.” Jones said of ending the Flash’s losing streak. “That’s how good I feel about it.”

The Flash offense, whose previous season high in points was 101, erupted for a 37-point second quarter—including 12 from Grant in the second period—to take a 66-42 lead into halftime.

“The second quarter was terrific.” Jones added. “We ran the floor, we played our defense, and we shared the ball.”

Reno was led by Dave Noel, who finished with 27 points. Meeking added 19 points, while Jesse Smith recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Patrick Ewing Jr. finished his D-League debut with 15 points.

Jefferson celebrated his 25th birthday with 21 points for the Flash, while Celtics’ assignee Bill Walker finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Andre Ingram and Carlos Wheeler each added 12 points off the Flash bench. Brian Jackson rounded out double-figure scorers with 10.