Warm applause greeted Jordan Adams as he sat down on UCLA’s bench, leaving a blowout win with over eight minutes left on the clock.
The sophomore guard could’ve easily topped his career-high, but his Bruins were already well on their way to a 80-66 victory over Utah — one that featured yet another explosive second half. No sense in risking injury to their leading scorer.
Even without needing him for nearly a quarter of the game, UCLA now sits just one game back from Arizona for first in the Pac-12.
Adams finished with 24 points, knocking down all three of his attempts from downtown and shooting 10-of-14 overall. It was his highest point total ever against a league opponent, and the first time he finished with double-digit field goals since a November win over Morehead State.
With his help the Bruins opened the second half on a 7-0 run, forcing Utah to call a timeout at 16:28. The run eventually swelled to 12-0 until finally, the Utes dropped in their first field goal since the break. Over five minutes had already ticked off the clock.
Utah had yet to lose by double-digits this season, and dropped its first seven losses by an average of 3.7 points.
At halftime, guard Delon Wright only had four points and one field goal — one that only counted because freshman guard Zach LaVine reached up into the net and was called for goaltending. Forward Jordan Loveridge was scoreless
The Utes’ top duo had entered the game averaging 32.2 combined points, with Wright ranked as the fifth-most efficient offensive player in the conference. He finished with 16 points — as well as six rebounds and seven assists — but he was the only Ute in double digits.