Led by veteran Josh Davis’ 21 points, the Colorado 14ers defeated the Utah Flash 123-104 tonight to earn the 2009 NBA Development League Championship at the Broomfield Event Center in Broomfield, Colorado.
“We have veteran players who understand what they need to do to get it done in this league,” said 14ers head coach Bob MacKinnon. “They understand that winning helps you get to that next level. We’ve preached it all year, and they’ve responded.”
A close game through three quarters, the 14ers turned up the heat in the fourth to outscore the Flash 35-18. John Lucas scored 13 points in the period to guide the team to its first NBA D-League championship while Joe Dabbert finished the contest shooting a perfect 10-of-10 from the field to score 21 points. Nuggets assignee Sonny Weems finished with a game-high 25 points off the bench.
“It feels great to win an NBA D-League Championship,” said League veteran Billy Thomas, who scored 14 tonight. “Tonight’s win was big for us because how hard we worked all season - to culminate all of that dedication in a championship was a great way to go out.”
A tightly contested first quarter, the Flash was led by Utah Jazz assignee Morris Almond’s eight points. Colorado, who shot only 1-6 from beyond the arc in the first, used a balanced attack that saw six 14ers score, to finish the quarter up two, 26-24.
The Flash exploded in the second period outscoring the 14ers 35-26 and going on a 19-4 run to bring the score to 57-50 with under a minute to play. At the half, the Flash led 59-52 on the back of Boston Celtics’ assignee J.R. Giddens’ eight-point quarter.
The 14ers opened up the third quarter with a 16-9 run to tie the score at 68 with just over eight minutes to play. From there, the teams traded baskets finishing the period with Colorado outscoring Utah 36-27 and owning an 88-86 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The 14ers, who secured the NBA D-League’s best regular season record at 34-16, also captured the Southwest Division Championship. The team defeated the Erie BayHawks in the first round of the playoffs before knocking off the Austin Toros in the semi-finals before facing the Flash in the finals. In the first game, they defeated the team from Orem, Utah 136-131 in overtime.
Utah was led by Almond and Kevin Kruger who scored 18 points a piece, while Giddens chipped in with a 17-point, 15-rebound double-double.