OREM Eleven days after their last game, the Utah Flash returned from the All-Star break to play two road games over the weekend, winning one and losing the other.
They began with 119-99 win over the Tulsa 66ers on Friday. Utah shot 55.4 percent from the floor, and guard Morris Almond, on assignment from the Utah Jazz, shot 13-of-20 to lead the way with 34 points.
"We played very well on Friday night," Flash coach Brad Jones said. "We had a lot of guys contribute, including the bench. We shot the ball well. That helped. Anytime a team can shoot well, it helps them with everything else."
On Sunday, the Flash suffered a 109-100 loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Almond had another strong game, scoring 25 points on 10-21 shooting, but it was not enough.
A weakness that has plagued the team all season flared up again, as Utah was unable to overcome 21 turnovers.
"We ran into the same thing we've struggled with all year long," Jones said. "We've put ourselves in a situation where we beat ourselves a lot. We had control at one point, but we blanked out and hurt ourselves. They played well down the stretch, and we didn't."
After the weekend's action, Utah remains at .500, with a record of 17-17. They are 8.5 games behind the first-place Idaho Stampede with 16 games to go, so winning the West Division is probably out of reach.
On the other hand, they have the eighth best record in the NBA Development League and are just 1.5 games behind Tulsa for the sixth and final playoff spot."Every game is important to make the playoffs, and that's our goal," Flash general manager Dave Fredman said. "As the games dwindle down, every game has a greater importance."
Utah has just one game this week, when they host the Anaheim Arsenal on Friday. They will use the extra practice time to prepare, and Jones said the team tends to play better with more practice between games.
The Flash have fared well against Anaheim this season, holding a 4-2 edge in the season series. However, Utah allowed the Arsenal to pull down 20 offensive rebounds in their most recent contest, which led to a 95-92 loss at home on Feb. 8.
The game will start at 7 p.m. at the McKay Events Center at the campus of UVSC in Orem.