Jam Capitalize on Flash Turnovers to Take Overtime Victory
Orem, Utah, Dec. 1, 2008- Six Bakersfield Jam players, including all five starters, reached double figures in scoring Monday night as the visiting Jam spoiled the Utah Flash's home opener with a 102-100 overtime NBA Development League victory at the McKay Events Center.
The Flash, who trailed for much of the contest, forced the overtime period when guard Dontell Jefferson tied the score at 96-96 after driving the lane for a lay-up with just two seconds remaining in regulation play.
But the Jam took advantage of 29 Flash turnovers on the night, including four turnovers in the overtime period that led to all six overtime points for the Jam. The final Jam points off of a turnover came when Golden State Warriors assignee DeMarcus Nelson picked up a steal and a wide open dunk to put the Jam up 102-98 with under 40 seconds remaining.
"If we are going to beat a good team like Bakersfield, we're going to have to take care of the ball and have better possessions down the stretch." Flash head coach Brad Jones said. "I thought we had a lot of wasteful possessions in the fourth quarter, and that is the absolute time we don't need them."
Utah (1-2) returns home Friday for a matchup with the expansion Reno Bighorns, while the Jam (3-0) remain undefeated and host the Los Angeles D-Fenders in their home opener tonight.
Bakersfield's Nick Lewis recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Trey Johnson also finished with 18 points. Nelson chipped in 10 points in the winning effort, and fellow Warriors assignee Richard Hendrix doubled up with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Mateen Cleaves and Jeff Trepagnier recorded 13 and 11 points respectively in the victory.
The Jam opened up the second quarter of play on a 10-2 run and took a seven point lead into the halftime break. But the Flash, led by Jefferson, rallied in the third quarter with a 15-6 run to take a 62-60 lead.
Both teams exchanged leads in the fourth quarter before Jefferson's game-tying shot forced the overtime period.
Jefferson, who finished with 25 points, picked up 15 points in the third period of play on 5-of-7 shooting-including a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
"I just tried to take what the defense gave me and to give my team a spark." Jefferson said. "I just wanted to go out and play my game and shots fell for me tonight-I just wish we could have pulled out a win."
Boston Celtics assignee J.R. Giddens led all scorers with 34 points on 11-of-15 shooting while fellow Celtics assignee Bill Walker chipped in 14 points. Bennet Davis also reached double-digits in scoring for the Flash with 11 points on the night.
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