AUSTIN, Texas, November 28, 2008 - J.R. Giddens baseline jumper with 0.6 seconds left to play in overtime lifted the Utah Flash to a season-opening 93-91 victory over the Austin Toros Saturday at the Austin Convention Center.
On assignment from the Boston Celtics, Giddens notched a double-double in his first action with the Flash, finishing with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Bill Walker, also on assignment from the Celtics led Flash scorers with 23 points and was credited with the assist on Giddens' game winner. He also collected eight rebounds.
The Flash (1-0) plays the second of a two-game road swing to Texas to open the season at Rio Grande Valley Saturday. Austin (0-1) is host to the Tulsa 66ers on Saturday.
Dontell Jefferson finished with 15 points and a game-high eight assists for Utah in the third straight overtime game between Flash and the Toros dating back to Dec. 21 of last season.
"We showed a lot of toughness tonight," Flash head coach Brad Jones said. "We had the game in control and then they made some shots and the momentum switched down the stretch in regulation."
The Flash led 43-41 at the half and stretched the advantage to 80-68 with 4:11 to play on a Brian Jackson dunk. That was the last field goal for the Flash in regulation. In the final four minutes of regulation Utah missed five field goal attempts, three of four free throw tries and turned the ball over three times. Austin made a trio of three-pointers, including one from Malik Hairston with nine seconds left to send the game to the extra period.
Hairston made another three with 1:10 to play in overtime before a Jefferson jumper with 0:06 to play gave the Flash a 91-89 advantage. After Marcus Williams missed a pair of free throws for Austin with two seconds left in overtime, Hairston got the rebound and was fouled, but the clock failed to run.
The officiating crew put 0.6 on the clock and Hairston nailed both free throws before both teams called timeout and Giddens drained the game winner.
"It would have been easy for us to lay down when things didn't go our way, but we didn't," Jones said. "We won a game on road against a good team and that's the bottom line."
Williams finished with 27 points for Austin to lead all scorers and added 10 boards for his first double-double of the season. Hairston followed with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Charles Gaines had 13 boards for the Toros.