Welcome back, Zach.
After a mini-slump doused the fiery start to his UCLA career, freshman guard Zach LaVine shot back with a vengeance on Sunday night, keying the Bruins to a 87-72 win over Arizona State.
There were the customary dunks, including a vicious windmill that had all of Pauley Pavilion holding his breath as he hung in the air. There was the 3-point range, rediscovered as he drilled his first three attempts.
In his last six games, LaVine had averaged 9.2 points on 42.3 percent shooting — down markedly from the 14.2 and 60.5 he carried through his first nine.
When most of the 8,003 at Pauley Pavilion filed out toward the restrooms, the Seattle-area native already had a game-high 15 on 6-of-8 shooting, including 10 straight for the Bruins. He finished with 19, two shy of tying his career high.
“Today, I was a little more aggressive,” he said. “I took about 500 shots a day this week. I knew my jumper was on.”
After holding a 17-point halftime advantage, UCLA led by as much as 23 and never by less than nine. Sophomore Kyle Anderson again flirted with a triple-double, dropping 17 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists on the Sun Devils.
Meanwhile, ASU point guard Jahii Carson had one of the worst games of his career. He didn’t score his first field goal until nearly 14 minutes into the game, and finished with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.
He entered the game averaging 51.1 percent from downtown, but missed all five attempts.