Notes: Adams’ career-high 31 points pushes UCLA past Washington

– Jordan Adams is hitting on all cylinders heading down the late stretch of the season. The sophomore guard lit up the Huskies for a career-high 31 points in UCLA’s 91-82 win — a total that could have easily been higher if not for a second-half bout with cramps.

Adams scored 10 of UCLA’s first 14 points to set the pace early, and established the offense by earning trips to the line. He also exited a good portion of the second half and didn’t score in the final eight minutes, but his last six points came when the Bruins only led by one point.

UCLA’s most natural scorer hitting his stride in March obviously bodes well for a team that’s angling for a top-five tournament seed. His free throw rate has dropped to 20th in the conference compared to 13th last season, but he his nine free throw attempts were his highest since Dec. 7. Continue reading

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Jordan Adams secures single-season steals record, 1,000-point milestone

A little more than four minutes into the second half at Washington, Jordan Adams got his first steal of the night. His second came 32 seconds later.

That sequence during UCLA’s 91-82 win gave the sophomore 83 steals on the season, good for the school’s single-season steals record. Cameron Dollar set the previous record of 82 in 1997. Continue reading

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UCLA forces double-overtime thriller in 87-83 loss to Oregon

Pauley Pavilion nearly saw a miracle.

With 1:01 left on the game clock, UCLA was down seven points and missing its two best players.

The Bruins clawed their way through 11 more minutes, eventually falling 87-83 to Oregon in double overtime. Along the way, they left fans with arguably the most memorable game of the season.

Three hours before the 8 p.m. tipoff, the team had announced the suspensions of point guard Kyle Anderson and leading scorer Jordan Adams.

With little time the prepare, UCLA (21-7, 10-5) went almost the entire first half without an inside bucket and walked into the locker room in a 12-point hole.

No matter. With 1.2 seconds left in regulation, David Wear snuck behind the Ducks’ defense and streaked upcourt for a wide-open three. He caught an inbounds pass from his twin brother, Travis, and drilled a shot from some 30 feet away. Continue reading

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Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams suspended one game for violation of team rules

UCLA’s already slim chances at catching Arizona for the Pac-12 lead may have just disappeared.

The team suspended leading scorers Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson one game each for a violation of team rules. They will sit out when the Bruins tip off against Oregon at 8 p.m. tonight. The pair combines to average 32.1 points — over a third of the squad’s total output — as well as 14.2 rebounds, 9.1 assists and 4.6 steals.

The Ducks have the conference’s second-highest scoring offense behind UCLA, and lost their prior matchup in Eugene by just two points. With four games left in the regular season, the Bruins sit 2.5 games behind the Wildcats for first place.

Likely in line for their first career starts are freshman guards Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford. LaVine scored 14 points at Stanford last Saturday, his first double-digit effort in nearly a month, while Alford has averaged 7.8 points and 2.3 assists in his last eight games.

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UCLA blows out Cal for first win at Haas Pavilion since 2010

BERKELEY, Calif. — For a moment in UCLA’s 86-66 win Wednesday night, Cal breathed in hope.

With less than four minutes left until halftime, senior point guard Justin Cobbs hit a running floater against heavy contact. He pumped his fist, and headed to the line. He hit the free throw.

What had been a double-digit Bruin lead less than three minutes ago was cut to four.

It would be Cobbs’ only field goal of the first half. He missed an 18-footer on the Bears’ next possession, and UCLA unleashed a 7-0 run in 88 seconds. The Bruins walked into the locker room with a commanding 44-32 lead, and never felt threatened again through the remaining 20 minutes.

Powered by Jordan Adams’ game-high 28 points, UCLA led by as much as 27 and never by less than nine after the break. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Steve Alford talks about UCLA’s win over USC

UCLA’s sloppy start in 83-73 win over USC on Saturday reminded head coach Steve Alford of their collapse against Oregon State last weekend. The Bruins shot 37.1 percent in the first half, while allowing 59.3 to the Trojans.

“I didn’t like the looks on (our) faces,” he said.

Alford chewed out the team in the locker room, specifically harping on Jordan Adams, Norman Powell and Kyle Anderson — the team leadership — for their lack of defensive effort.

“We don’t get chewed out much, but we felt it,” Adams said.

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Bruins falter in 71-67 road loss to Oregon State

Another trip, another split. For the second time in conference play, UCLA squandered a chance to claw up the standings by dropping the tail end of a road series.

The Bruins fell 71-67 at Oregon State, and t here were few excuses available this time. The loss at Utah last month — one that followed a win at then-No. 21 Colorado — came with an additional flight from Denver to Salt Lake City; Corvallis is less than an hour’s drive from Eugene. The Utes’ Huntsman Center is among the rowdiest venues in the conference; Gill Coliseum draws an average of 3,897, the second-worst showing in the Pac-12.

And to top it all off, coach Steve Alford had an extra day to prepare heading into an 11:30 a.m. Sunday tipoff.

Just about everything that could have gone wrong did. After holding the Beavers to 35.3 percent shooting through the bulk of the first half, UCLA’s zone defense began to crack. Continue reading

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What to watch: Stanford at UCLA

Stanford (12-5, 3-2) at UCLA (14-4, 3-2)
When:
Thursday, 8 p.m., Pauley Pavilion
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Ted Robinson, Don MacLean, Yogi Roth)
Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Tracy Murray)

No. 1: Pace. UCLA’s halfcourt offense has been a work in progress all season, as both coach Steve Alford and his players have acknowledged at one point or another. The Bruins like to run, but despite chucking up 129 shots in their last two games, converted on just over 40 percent of them. The sharp drop from their season-long average (50.2 percent) may be due to opposing playbooks as much as the their own execution; freshman guard Zach LaVine said this week that more teams were trying to limit UCLA’s transition opportunities. Continue reading

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