Flash franchise record leads to victory over Defenders
OREM, Utah - Kevin Kruger and Utah Jazz assignee Morris Almond combined for 70 points as the Utah Flash picked up an NBA Development League victory in the final game of their inaugural season with a 130-118 defeat of the Los Angeles D-Fenders Saturday night at the Mckay Events Center.
Almond, who received the D-League Impact Player of the Year award prior to the contest, recorded a game-high 43 points in the winning effort.
"He was a pretty good impact tonight wasn't he?" Flash coach Brad Jones said. "I was disappointed that he only got third team all-league, so having him get this speaks to what he's done all year for us, not only was he an impact in scoring but he was an impact in other ways as well."
The Flash finish their season two games under the .500 mark with a 24-26 record, while the D-Fenders head into the D-League playoffs with a 32-18 regular season mark.
The Flash, whose 130 points is a franchise high, shot 50-percent (6-of-12) from behind the three-point line and benefited largely from 87-percent shooting from the free throw line (26-of-30).
"I thought we frustrated them a little bit that way we executed." Jones added. "We just kept attacking the basket and attacking the basket and that's (free-throws) what we were trying to do."
The D-Fenders made a run mid-way through the fourth quarter to cut the Flash lead to three at 108-105, but an Almond three-ball ignited a 22-7 Utah run to put the game away.
Kruger finished off his first D-League season with a double-double, recording 27 points and 10 assists in the win.
"I've been saying this all year long; Kevin has been our MVP at every stage of the season." Jones said. "He's been consistent and done nothing but get better. I really think he is the epitome of what a pro player should be."
Brian Hamilton added 15 points and Brian Jackson contributed 10 for the Flash. Lamar Rice and Andre Ingram recorded 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Cecil Brown led the way for Los Angeles with 23 points off the bench. Los Angeles Lakers assignee Coby Karl chipped in 20 points and Jelani McCoy added 17 points. Sean Banks, who entered the night averaging 24 points in the previous seven games against the Flash, finished with 14 in the losing effort.
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