OREM, Utah, March 18, 2009- Utah Jazz assignee Morris Almond drained a game-winning 25-foot three-point jumper with 1.4 seconds left to lift the Utah Flash to a 118-115 NBA Development League victory over the Reno Bighorns Wednesday night at the McKay Events Center.
Almond, who dropped in nine fourth quarter points and five in the final 10.3 seconds, finished with a team-high 24 points in the winning effort.
“He gave me some space.” Almond said. “My jumper hadn’t been falling all night, but I had nothing to lose, so I just let it fly.”
Utah (23-15) remains at home for the fifth game of its eight-game homestand Friday night at 7 p.m. against the Erie Bayhawks. Reno (18-22) travels to Idaho for a matchup with the Stampede on Thursday.
Almond connected on two free-throws to tie the game, 115-115, with 10.3 seconds remaining in the game. Reno’s David Noel’s go-ahead shot attempt with 8.5 seconds left was blocked by Jazz assignee Kyrylo Fesenko to set up the Almond game-winner.
“I’ve always told our guys that the first shot by a team is usually not the game-winner, but that it comes off an offensive rebound.” Flash head coach Brad Jones said. “So, after Fesenko’s block, grabbing the rebound was the key. We’ve got to get that stop for Morris to even get a shot to win it.”
Reno opened up the game on a 12-1 run before an Andre Ingram old-fashioned three-pointer put the cap on a Flash 12-2 run and put the Flash up 23-21 in the final minute of the first quarter.
Reno’s Richie Frahm knocked down a three-pointer with 1:27 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 54 and ignite a 7-3 Reno run to close out the first half and send the Bighorns into the break with a four-point lead.
Frahm scored in a game-high 28 points — including 12 second quarter points, but was limited to just five points in the fourth quarter due to lock-down defense played on him by Ingram.
Reno held a five-point lead with 5:20 left to play before back-to-back three-pointers from Kevin Kruger capped a Flash 10-0 run and put Utah up 111-106 with 33:02 left. The Bighorns rattled off a 9-2 run to take a short-lived lead at 115-113 before the Almond game-tying free-throws.
Kruger and Fesenko both notched double-doubles for the Flash, both scoring 15 points. Kruger dished out 10 assists and Fesenko grabbed 10 rebounds. Dupree chipped in 15 points for the Flash and Ingram added 14 off the Flash bench. Carlos Wheeler added 11 points in a Flash reserve role.
Russell Robinson and Noel each contributed 26 points for Reno, while Rod Benson added a double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds.