It wasn't all bad in Utah Jazz land last night as the Idaho Stampede won their first game, and are now 1-2 with 47 games to go before the playoffs. They defeated the Los Angeles Lakers affiliate team, the Los Angeles Defenders. It was a sell-out crowd of 148 people (obviously not a sell out), and a one point finish . . . and there's just so much to talk about. LA was up by 24 in the second half, but Idaho did not quit. They had a good reason to quit as starting point guard Nick Covington went down with an ankle injury, but true rookie, 22 year old Tre Bussey, stepped up. But let's be real, this game isn't an Idaho win without the efforts of Toure' Murry and Kevin Murphy.
I get that for some, that's all you want to read. So here are the stats of the players you care about:
Toure' Murry played 27 minutes and finished with 15 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, didn't make a three, but was instrumental down the stretch with his defense and offensive ability. He shot 7/15, but did have four turn overs.
Kevin Murphy can't be contained for three straight games. The NBA-DL scoring leader erupted for 32 points (10/18 FG, 2/4 from deep, and 10/11 from the line), and added 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 1 steal
Jack Cooley is still hurt
Nick Covington, who played with the Jazz in Vegas, got injured early, and only played 8 minutes -- he still managed 3 points, 4 assists, and 1 steal in that time
Tre Bussey had 18 points off the bench, and 4 steals, he shot 6/11, 3/3, 3/3 in the energizer role
Joel Wright had another solid game with 23 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 assist.
Jerrelle Benimon also came off the bench and had 21 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal
Anyway, Idaho didn't quit and were down by double digits still in the fourth quarter. The Stamps made a run right when they had to and went from being down 14 with 8 minutes to play to being up by one off of two made free throws by Kevin Murphy with 6 and change to play.
It was a dogfight from then on (which means lots of misses, it's the NBA-DL), and Idaho had to take a time out with 1:01 left, and LA being up 126-124. Out of the time out Shane Gibson got fouled on a three with 58.3 seconds to go. So yeah, the play was "inbound to a guy, and have that guy take a pump fake with 3 seconds of total clock time." They're not really running an offense here. Dude made all of his throws, LA then bricked a quick shot -- and then Kevin Murphy got called for an offensive foul. Yikes. A flagrant foul. A flagrant offensive foul . . . from a guard? Gotta love NBA-DL refs. After the review it was downgraded to a regular foul though.
LA ball, down by one with 30 seconds left. They missed a layup, got the rebound, missed another layup, and then Idaho got the ball, and threw it down court to a cherrypicking Joel Wright for an open dunk. Idaho up by 3. LA ball with 8 seconds left. Coach Cooper said in the time out for "no one to help." Guess what happened?
Jamario Moon got all backboard on a three point shot from way too deep, Idaho got the ball back. Got fouled. And Wright bricked the first FT, made the second. And that was the game. The four point lead was the largest lead for the Stamps in the ENTIRE GAME. With 1.5 seconds left LA drew up a play that got Manny Harris an open three, and he drained it at the buzzer for the final margin of 130-129.
These two teams play again tonight in LA, and it will be fun to see if Kevin and Toure' can break out again. Also, A.C.Green is a worse commentator than Matt Harpring.
I did not see a lot of the Utah Jazz offense in this game, but I wasn't paying attention to every minute of the 2 hour long D-League game in front of less than 150 fans.