TULSA, Okla. — Despite having four starters in double figures, the Utah Flash fell to the Tulsa 66ers 98-87 on the second game of a back-to-back, season-opening set in Oklahoma on Saturday.
"We played well enough to put us in a position to win in the fourth quarter, but when it came down to it, we just couldn't execute," said Flash head coach Brad Jones.
The 66ers held the Flash to 7-for-19 shooting from the field in the first quarter and outrebounded Utah 16-6 in the period. Former Utah star Luke Nevill's six points in the period kept the Flash within striking distance at 24-17 at the end of the first quarter.
Tulsa pushed their lead to 10 points at 29-19 after a Keith Clark layup, but the Flash battled back to cut the 66ers' lead to 44-42 at the half. Gavin Grant led the charge in the second quarter for the Flash, scoring eight of his 17 points in the period.
Both teams battled down the stretch and were tied at 75 with 7:01 left to play. But aided by three critical turnovers by the Flash, the 66ers then went on a 23-12 run to take a 98-85 lead with less than a minute remaining.
Tulsa finished with five players in double figures. Oklahoma City Thunder assignee Byron Mullens had his second straight double-double of the season with a 15-point, 17-rebound effort.
Carlos Wheeler finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Flash (1-1), and Nevill had 12 points for Utah, which continues its road trip at Los Angeles on Tuesday before heading to Bakersfield, Calif., for a pair of games on Dec. 3 and Dec. 5.