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COLUMBUS, Ga.— Smush Parker earned the National Basketball Development League’s first-ever triple-double on Saturday night as the Florida Flame fended off a late rally to down the Columbus Riverdragons, 105-98, at the Columbus Civic Center. The NBA veteran with Cleveland, Detroit, and Phoenix hit for 31 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds to make history as the Flame won their sixth game in the last nine overall.
On two occasions this season, March 18 against Asheville (17 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds) and March 24 versus Huntsville (12 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds), Parker just missed his opportunity to make NBDL history. But with the Flame leading by one point, 92-91, with 3:34 to play, Parker grabbed his tenth rebound off of a Scott Merritt miss on a driving lay-up attempt to capture the feat.
“I’m honored to be the first player to record an NBDL triple-double,” said Parker. “I came close a few times this season, but I felt good about this one. I’m excited.”
Parker’s triple-double performance was the highlight of a Florida offensive onslaught that repeatedly went over, around, and through the Columbus defense all night long. The Flame (14-29) made highlight reel plays throughout the contest with a flurry of alley-oops, dunks, and reverse lay-ups that had the first-place Riverdragons (26-16) on their heels. Florida shot 49% from the floor and hit 21 of 28 free throws in the win.
Parker finished the first half well on his way towards the mark, posting 15 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists before the intermission to help propel the Flame to a 51-42 advantage at halftime. The 6-4, point guard out of Fordham (’02) scored nine points and had six rebounds in the second quarter alone as Florida outrebounded Columbus in the period, 15-7, to claim the nine-point advantage.