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Big Second Half Propels Flash to Victory
Utah Flash 125, Albuquerque Thunderbirds 105
OREM, Utah, April 3, 2009- Utah Jazz assignee Morris Almond scored a game-high 27 points and the Utah Flash rattled off 71 second-half points en route to a 125-105 NBA Development League victory over the visiting Albuquerque Thunderbirds Friday night at the McKay Events Center.
The Flash, who dropped in 66 points in the paint, notched a season high in points and shot over 50-percent from the floor for the seventh straight game—converting 48-of-86 (55.8-percent) shots from the field.
“Having guys who are willing to make the extra pass and play within the offense will lead to a high percentage shooting night,” Flash coach Brad Jones said.
Utah (28-16) increases its West Division lead to one game over an idle Idaho and travels to Los Angeles Sunday for a 1 p.m. MDT matinee with the D-Fenders. The Thunderbirds (23-22) will take on the Bighorns Sunday in Reno.
Andre Ingram made a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the first quarter to tie the game 24-24 heading into the second period. Ingram extended the Flash lead to seven points with 1:46 left in the second period. Jasper Johnson made two free-throws to cut the Flash lead to 54-51 at the half. Johnson had a double-double for the Thunderbirds with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Utah extended its third quarter lead to 77-64 after a Kosta Koufos hook shot with 5:08 remaining in the period. J.R. Giddens knocked down a jumper with 1.9 seconds left in the third to give the Flash an 87-72 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Flash outscored Albuquerque 33-21 in a third quarter that saw Utah connect on 12-of-18 (66.7-percent) shots from the field. Utah also dished out seven of their 21 assists in the third period.
“We don’t mind sharing the ball, and a lot of our baskets tonight came off assists.” Utah’s J.R. Giddens said.
An Almond dunk with 1:43 left in the fourth was part of a Utah 38-point fourth quarter and extended the Flash’s lead to 120-100
Koufos, on assignment from the Utah Jazz, connected on 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Boston Celtics assignee Giddens added 21 points for the Flash. Ronald Dupree knocked down 18 points for the Flash.
Will Conroy scored 23 points for Albuquerque, while Mark Walters added 17. Antoine Agudio chipped in 16 points, and Antonio Meeking added 12 points off the Thunderbirds bench.