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Flash win to reach D-League finals
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Utah-based professional basketball team hasn't won a championship in 38 years.

The Flash are one step away.

J.R. Giddens scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half and Morris Almond added 18 Monday night, leading Utah to a 103-93 win over Dakota in an NBA Development League semifinal at the McKay Center.

Behind Almond, the Flash built a 17-3 lead in the opening 41/2 minutes and never trailed to earn a spot in the best-of-three D-League finals against Colorado.

The Flash can become the first state-based pro team to win a title since 1971, when the Utah Stars won the ABA championship.

Giddens, on assignment from the NBA's Boston Celtics, was the catalyst in the wire-to-wire win over Dakota. After the Wizards got as close as 71-65 late in the third quarter, he scored 11 points in a four-minute span to help Utah pull away again.

"My teammates did a good job of finding me on cuts and I got into a good rhythm," Giddens said. "When I get in a rhythm, I'm a pretty good player."

Said coach Brad Jones: "He was terrific tonight."

Ronald Dupree contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Flash, who take a five-game home winning streak into the championship series-opener against Colorado on Wednesday night.

Giddens seems genuinely excited about being part of a postseason run, even if it's not the NBA and he's not with the Celtics.

"In any situation, you want to be successful," he said. "We've worked hard all year ... [and] that's been our mind-set all along. We want to win the whole thing."

luhm@sltrib.com" Target="_BLANK">luhm@sltrib.com

D-League championship schedule

Game 1 » Wednesday, Colorado at Utah, 7 p.m.

Game 2 » Friday, Utah at Colorado, 7 p.m.

x-Game 3 » Monday, Utah at Colorado, 7 p.m.

x-if necessary

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