LOS ANGELES, April 5, 2009 – The Utah Flash came into Sunday’s game at the STAPLES Center needing just one win to clinch its first-ever berth in the NBA Development League Playoffs. The Los Angeles D-Fenders made sure that didn’t happen, postponing any Flash celebration with a 102-91 victory.
Los Angeles improved to 17-31 with its first win over the Flash in five outings this season. Utah dropped to 28-17 and into second place in the NBADL West Division, one game behind the idle Idaho Stampede. The Flash will try to nail down the postseason spot again when they host Los Angeles Tuesday at the McKay Events Center in Orem. Tipoff is 7 p.m. MDT.
Coming into the game having converted 50-percent or more from the floor in the last seven games, Utah started by shooting 28-percent (11-38) in the first half, making just six field goals in the first quarter and only five in the second to trail 50-41 at the half.
Los Angeles stretched the lead to 80-62 after three quarters and then held off a minor Flash rally down the stretch. Utah cut the lead to 12 twice in the fourth quarter and to the final margin of 11 in the waning seconds. The D-Fenders outrebounded Utah 47-38 and had 12 more assists (27-15).
Dwayne Mitchell and Ryan Forehan-Kelly poured in 25 and 23 points, respectively, to lead Los Angeles scoring. Mitchell had 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Mickael Gelabale chipped in 15 points and Gabriel Hughes 12, both in a reserve role for the D-Fenders.
Andre Ingram came off the Utah bench to score 19 points, converting 7-of-10 from the floor, including 5-of-6 three-point attempts. Utah Jazz assignee Kosta Koufos also scored 19 and collected eight rebounds for the Flash.
Jazz assignee Morris Almond scored 16, but missed 10 of his first 11 field goal attempts and finished 3-of-14 from the floor. Ten of Almond’s points came from the free throw line, where he finished 10-of-11. Ronald Dupree had 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds.