The pursuit of dreams yet to be realized was put on display last Friday night as the Utah Flash dropped a tough one at home to the Sioux Falls Skyforce 101-97.
Trailing nearly the entire 48 minutes, the Flash came storming back in the fourth quarter to pull within three in the closing seconds. Guard Kevin Kruger’s 3-pointer bounced off the back of the rim and doomed Utah (13-11) to another loss.
"They hit a couple of shots early, and it really seemed to demoralize our guys," said coach Brad Jones. "I was really disappointed in our guys’ effort."
For Flash wingman Morris Almond, Friday’s game was his first back after a short stint with the Utah Jazz. Scoring well below his season average, the Flash struggled without D-League season-high scorer Almond. The 25th pick in last years NBA draft shot 2-of-10 for seven points in 23 minutes of action.
"He’ll fight back," Jones said. "He woke up thinking he was playing the Sacramento Kings and instead he’s playing the Skyforce."
While the Flash struggled, including 22 turnovers, there were some impressive individual performances. Leading the way for Utah with a team-high 18 points was Kruger.
"We couldn’t get over the hump, really," Kruger said. "Every time we did something well we shot ourselves in the foot."
Utah also got a boost from recently acquired, former-Ute Britton Johnson, who added 17 points. The Flash sent Michael Cuffee to Bakersfield back on Jan. 10 in order to bring Johnson, a Utah native, back to the Beehive state.
"Pro basketball is tough," Jones said. "And when you dig a whole like we did, you’ve got to be able to fight back."
Almond breaks D-League scoring record
Morris Almond poured in an NBA Development League record 53 points to lead the Utah Flash to a 102-87 victory over the Bakersfield Jam last Wednesday.
On assignment from the Utah Jazz, Almond converted 19-of-34 field goal attempts and 12-of-14 free throw tries to break his own D-League single game scoring record. The rookie from Rice had scored 51 against Austin on Dec. 21. Almond set the record with a pair of free throws with 29 seconds left to play.