Utah Flash get two victories for the price of one

By James Davis

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 11 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

By James Davis

Deseret News

OREM — Ron Dupree's driving baseline layup at the buzzer handed the Utah Flash a 104-102 win over the Colorado 14ers on Friday night.

But most of the crowd of more than 4,500 hadn't even found their seats yet.

Nearly three hours later, those fans were on their feet again as the Flash polished off visiting Colorado for the second time in a single day, 124-112.

"There's not many times you win two in one night," Utah coach Brad Jones said.

In a Dec. 26 contest between the two teams in Colorado, Utah's Bill Walker was mistakenly disqualified from the game with 25.2 seconds remaining after scorers said he picked up his sixth foul.

The Flash protested the outcome, saying it was only Walker's fifth foul. A review by league officials led to a directive for the teams to replay the final seconds of the contest.

"Our guys really came in focused," he said. "We worked on that 25-second game in shoot-around this morning — both defensively and offensively."

With the 25.2 seconds up on the clock and the scoreboard showing 102 all, the 14ers inbounded the ball to set up their final play. Instead of getting the go-ahead bucket, former Weber State star Eddie Gill stepped out of bounds, handing the ball to Utah.

With just three seconds left, DuPree took an inbounds pass just outside the 3-point line, came around a Kevin Kruger pick and drove baseline for his buzzer-beater.

"We went out and executed those two plays," Jones said. "I mean you couldn't have done it any better."

Not having joined the Flash until January, DuPree wound up in the box score with just two points in 25 seconds.

In the regularly scheduled game, six Utah players scored in double-figures and the Flash shot 62.9-percent (44-of-70) from the field.

Kruger scored 21 points for the Flash on 6-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. Boston Celtics assignee J.R. Giddens added 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Flash, who knocked down 8-of-9 (88.9 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc. Jazz assignee Kosta Koufos chipped in 16 points, while Dupree added 18. Carlos Wheeler and Andre Ingram added 10 and 13 points, respectively.

With Friday's two wins, Utah (31-18) put itself in fine position to clinch the West Division: With a win against division-leading Idaho (31-18) in the season-finale tonight, the Flash will finish first in the West Division.

"This is the playoffs for us," Jones said. "We've got our backs against the wall, even though we still control our own future. I mean, if we win out, we win our division."

E-MAIL: jdavis@desnews.com

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