OREM — Utah Jazz assignees Morris Almond and Kosta Koufos combined for 46 points to help lift the Utah Flash to a 109-82 NBA Development League victory Friday night at the McKay Events Center.
Almond scored 25 points, while Koufos contributed 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his NBA D-League debut. Koufos, who shot 10-of-14 (71-percent), also added three blocked shots for the Flash.
"What a huge advantage it is to have Kosta here." Flash head coach Brad Jones said. "He didn't take any questionable shots, and he worked very well within the flow of our offense."
The Flash (25-15) recorded their third consecutive victory, while the Arsenal (15-30) suffered their seventh consecutive loss. Both teams will return to the McKay Events Center tonight at 7 for the second game of the weekend series.
The Flash got a layup from Koufos with 19 seconds left in the first quarter to cap a 12-5 run and open up a 32-22 lead to end the first quarter. Anaheim failed to connect on a field goal in the final 3:52 of the first quarter, going 0-for-5 in that stretch.
Boston Celtics assignee J.R. Giddens picked up one of his game-high 11 assists after finding James Lang for an easy bucket to extend the Flash lead to its largest of the first half at 45-33 with 6:22 left in the second quarter. Giddens, who is on his third assignment with the Flash, knocked down eight points, grabbed four rebounds, blocked five shots and recorded a D-League career high in assists.
"It's been nice for J.R. to go back up to Boston and see what he needs to do from those guys, and then come back here and put all that to work," Jones added.9 comments on this story
The Flash shot 56 percent (41-of-73) from the field on the night, while the Utah defense turned 15 Anaheim turnovers into 22 points. Utah, which held the Arsenal to just 14 fourth-quarter points on 6-of-23 (26-percent) shooting, also added 10 steals and tied a franchise record with 13 blocked shots.
Ronald Dupree had 14 points and Kevin Kruger 13 for the Flash.
Cedric Bozeman recorded a game-high 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Anaheim, while Kedrick Brown added 24 points. Ronald Allen chipped in 11 points.