April 24, 2012
Each week, uclabruins.com will update and highlight select UCLA players' progress during the current NBA season. Games highlighted are from Apr. 16-22.
UCLA in the NBA/Player Highlights
Arron Afflalo, G (fifth NBA season, third with Denver Nuggets, Western Conference/NW Div., 36-28, second-place/sixth seed in Western Conference, clinched playoff spot) - On April 22 at Denver, the Nuggets won their second consecutive game, beating Orlando, 101-74. Afflalo started and played a team-high 37 minutes, with 15 points (7-10, 0-2, 1-1/double figures in 20 consecutive games) and three rebounds and assists. On April 21 at Phoenix, the Nuggets clinched a Western Conference playoff spot, beating the Suns, 118-107. Afflalo started and played a team-high tying 37 minutes, with 18 points (6-10, 0-1, 7-7), three rebounds and assists and a team-high tying two steals. On April 18 at Denver, the LA Clippers won their fifth consecutive game, beating the Nuggets, 104-98 (the Nuggets had won seven of their last 10 games). Afflalo started and played a game-high 37 minutes, with 12 points (5-11, 1-3, 1-2), three rebounds and one assist and steal. On April 16 at Houston, the Nuggets beat the Rockets for the second consecutive game, 105-102. Afflalo started and played a game-high tying 42 minutes, with a game-high 26 points (10-16, 1-2, 5-6/ double-figures in 17 consecutive games; 20 or more points on 16 occasions, including three of last four games), three rebounds and five assists.
This week's Nuggets schedule: April 25 - at Oklahoma City, April 26 - at Minnesota.
Afflalo's Season Stats: 60G/60GS (most team starts), 33.6MIN, 3.1RB, 2.4AST, 15.2PPG (No. 2 team scorer).
Matt Barnes, F (ninth NBA season, second with Los Angeles Lakers, Western Conference/Pacific Div., 41-24, first-place/third place in Western Conference, clinched playoff spot) - On April 21 at the Staples Center, the Lakers rallied from an 18 point third quarter deficit and defeated Oklahoma City for the first time this season (1-2), 114-106 in two overtimes. Barnes played just 16 minutes and suffered a sprained right ankle. He scored three points (1-3, 0-2, 1-2), with six rebounds, one assist and steal. On April 20 at San Antonio, the Spurs beat the Lakers (Kobe Bryant played for the first time since missing the last seven games with a left shin injury) for the second time in four days, shooting 61% to win, 121-97. Barnes once again led all Lakers reserves in minutes (25), points (14, 5-11, 1-4, 3-3) and rebounds (five), with three assists. On April 18 at San Francisco, the Lakers beat Golden State for the 25th time in their last 28 meetings, winning 99-87 (Lakers were without Kobe Bryant for seventh consecutive game/5-2 record). Barnes once again led all Lakers reserves in minutes (22 minutes), points (six, 2-6, 1-4, 1-1), rebounds (nine, averaged 9.0 rebounds last four games) and assists (four), with one blocked shot and a season and game-high tying three steals. On April 17 at the Staples Center, San Antonio evened their series with the Lakers at 1-1, shooting 59.5% and forcing 20 Lakers turnovers for a 112-91 victory (Lakers were without Kobe Bryant for sixth consecutive game/4-2 record). Barnes led all Lakers reserves in minutes (31), points (16, 6-11, 2-4, 2-2) and rebounds (six), with four assists.
This week's Lakers schedule: April 26 - at Sacramento.
Barnes' Season Stats: 63G/16GS, 22.9MIN, 5.5RB, 2.0AST, 7.8PPG (leads Lakers reserves in minutes, scoring and rebounding).
Baron Davis, G (13th NBA season, first with New York Knicks, Eastern Conference/Atlantic Div., 34-30 second-place/seventh-place in Eastern Conference, clinched playoff spot) - On April 22 at Atlanta, the Knicks nipped the Hawks, 113-112. Davis, who had missed the last two games with a stomach virus, returned to the starting lineup, playing 31 minutes, with 13 points (5-9, 3-4, 0-0), one rebound, game and season-high tying 10 assists and two steals. On April 20 at Cleveland, the Cavaliers snapped their three-game losing streak and beat the playoff bound Knicks, 98-90 (Davis did not play, stomach virus). On April 18 at Newark, the Knicks won their second consecutive game, beating New Jersey, 104-95 (Davis did not play, stomach virus). On April 17 at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks equaled their season-best with 19 three-pointers and defeated Boston, 118-110, taking sole possession of seventh-place in the Eastern Conference. Davis, starting his 12th consecutive game for the injured Jeremy Lin (surgery on left knee, out six weeks), played 18 minutes, with two rebounds and one assist.
This week's Knicks schedule: April 25 - LA Clippers, April 26 - at Charlotte.
Davis' Season Stats: 28G/13GS, 20.6MIN, 2.0RB, 4.8AST, 1.1STL, 5.9PPG.
Jrue Holiday, G (third NBA season with Philadelphia 76ers, Eastern Conference/Atlantic Div., 33-30, third-place/eighth-place in Eastern Conference, three games ahead of Milwaukee for final playoff spot) - On April 21 at Indianapolis, the 76ers kept their playoff hopes alive and stopped Indiana's seven-game winning streak, beating the Pacers, 109-106 in overtime. Holiday started and played 41 minutes, with 17 points (7-14, 1-4, 2-3/double figures four of last five games), four rebounds, game-high seven assists, a career-high tying two blocked shots and game-high tying two steals. On April 18 at Cleveland, the 76ers stopped their three-game losing streak to solidify their eighth-place Eastern Conference position (final playoff spot), beating the Cavaliers, 103-87. Holiday started and played 28 minutes, scoring 19 of his game-high 24 points (9-14, career -best 6-6 three-pointers, 0-0/scored 20 or more points on 10 occasions) in the third quarter, with two rebounds, team-high tying five assists and one steal. On April 17 at Philadelphia, the Sixers lost their third consecutive game, losing to Indiana, 102-97. Holiday started and played 30 minutes, with eight points (3-8, 0-2, 2-2), five rebounds, three assists and one steal. On April 16 at Orlando, the 76ers, with six of their final seven games on the road, lost their second consecutive game, losing to the Magic, 113-100. Holiday started and played 34 minutes, with a team-high 18 points (7-15, 4-8, 0-0/double figures three of last four games), one rebound, eight assists, game-high tying two blocked shots and two steals.
This week's 76ers schedule: April 23 - at New Jersey, April 25 -at Milwaukee, April 26 - at Detroit.
Holiday's Season Stats: 63G/63GS (most team starts, has started every game), 33.9MIN, 3.2RB, 4.5AST, 1.5STL, 13.6PPG (No. 2 team scorer).
Ryan Hollins, C (sixth NBA season, first with Boston Celtics, started the season with Cleveland Cavaliers, Eastern Conference/Atlantic Div., 37-27, clinched first-place/fourth-place in Eastern Conference, clinched playoff spot) - On April 20 at Atlanta, in a game between two playoff teams, the Hawks defeated Boston, 97-92. Hollins set Boston season-bests in minutes (30), points (eight-4-5, 0-0, 0-2) and rebounds (five), with one assist. On April 18 at Boston, the Celtics defeated Orlando, 102-98 to clinch their fifth consecutive Eastern Conference Atlantic Div. title (Hollins did not play). On April 17 at Madison Square Garden, the Celtics were unable to capture their fifth consecutive Atlantic Div. crown, losing to New York, 118-110. Hollins played one minute.
This week's Celtics schedule: April 24 - Miami, April 26 - Milwaukee.
Hollins' Season Stats (Celtics): 13G, 8.6MIN, 1.4RB, 2.5 PPG/(Total, includes Cleveland stats): 37G/7GS, 12.8MIN, 2.0RB, 3.3PPG.
Malcolm Lee, G (first NBA season, second round draft selection by Chicago Bulls, traded to Minnesota Timberwolves, Western Conference/NW Div., 26-39, fifth-place/12th-place in Western Conference) - On April 22 at Minneapolis, the Timberwolves could not hold onto a 21-point lead and lost to Golden State, 93-88 (Lee did not play). On April 19 at Detroit, the Timberwolves halted their 11-game losing streak, beating the Pistons, 91-80. Lee played eight minutes, with two points (1-2, 0-0, 0-0), one rebound and assist. On April 17 at Minneapolis, the Timberwolves lost their 11th straight game and 27th consecutive defeat in April dating back to 2009, losing to Memphis for the eighth consecutive time, 91-84. Lee played nine minutes, with four points (1-5, 0-0, 2-2) and one rebound and steal. On April 16 at Indianapolis, the Timberwolves lost their 10th consecutive game, losing to Indiana, 111-88. Lee played 17 minutes, with a career-high nine points (4-6, 0-0, 1-2), two rebounds and one assist and steal.
This week's Timberwolves schedule: April 26 - Denver
Lee's Season Stats: 18G, 12.4MIN, 1.3RB, 1.6AST, 3.3PPG.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, F (fourth NBA season with Milwaukee Bucks, Eastern Conference/Central Div., 30-33, third-place/ninth-place in Eastern Conference, three games behind New York for final playoff spot) - On April 21 at Milwaukee, the Bucks kept their playoff hopes alive, beating New Jersey, 106-95. Mbah a Moute started and played a game and season-high 42 minutes, with eight points (4-9, 0-0, 0-2), seven rebounds, two assists and a game and season-high tying two blocked shots. On April 19 at Indianapolis, the Bucks' playoff chances took another blow as Milwaukee lost to the Pacers, 118-109. It was Milwaukee' third consecutive loss. Mbah a Moute, who had been out of the starting lineup most of April with right knee tendonitis, started and played 33 minutes, with 16 points (7-11, 1-1, 1-1), team-high 11 rebounds (third season double-double) and one steal. On April 18 at Washington, D. C., the Bucks lost for the fourth time in their last five games, losing to Washington, 121-112. Mbah a Moute played 15 minutes, with six points (3-4, 0-0, 0-0), two rebounds and one blocked shot.
This week's Bucks schedule: April 23 - Toronto, April 25 - Philadelphia, April 26 - at Boston.
Mbah a Moute's Season Stats: 43G/22GS, 23.5MIN, 5.3RB, 7.7PPG.
Russell Westbrook, G (fourth NBA season with Oklahoma City Thunder, Western Conference/NW Div., 46-18, first-place, clinched division title and playoff spot/second-place in Western Conference) - On April 21 at the Staples Center, the Thunder lost, 114-102 in two overtimes, to the LA Lakers for the first time in three season games, shooting only 36.6% from the field (including 33.3%, 8-24 from three-point range). Westbrook, who started and played 47 minutes, missed a jumper at the end of the first overtime that would have won it for the Thunder. He scored 14 points (3-22/worst shooting since Dec. 28, 0-4, 8-8), with four rebounds, game-high 10 assists and one steal. On April 20 at Sacramento, the Thunder won for the fourth time in five games, beating the Kings, 103-92. Westbrook started and played 31 minutes, with 18 points (8-15, 0-1, 2-4), three rebounds, team-high tying three assists, one blocked shot and two steals. On April 18 at Phoenix, the Thunder defeated the Suns, 109-97. Westbrook started and played 30 minutes, with 15 points (6-16, 0-0, 3-4), six rebounds, game-high tying five assists and two steals. On April 16 at the Staples Center, the LA Clippers won their fourth consecutive game and beat Oklahoma City for the second time during their winning streak, 92-77, to take the series 3-1 and for the first time in six years earned a playoff spot (with Houston's loss to Denver). Westbrook started and played 32 minutes and had his streak of 57 consecutive games in double scoring figures snapped, getting nine points (4-16, 1-5, 0-0), with three rebounds, a team-high tying three assists and one steal.
This week's Thunder schedule: April 24 - Sacramento, April 25 - Denver.
Westbrook's Season Stats: 64G/64GS (has started every game), 35.5MIN, 4.5RB, team-leading 5.4AST and 1.7STL, 23.7ppg (No. 2 team scorer).
NBA veteran 6-11 center Dan Gadzuric signed with the New York Knicks on April 21 and will be eligible for the playoffs. Gadzuric spent part of the 2011-12 season in the Chinese Basketball Association but injured his left foot and returned to the U.S. Recently he played for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League. Gadzuric, who was a four-year UCLA starting center from 1998-2002, has a nine-year NBA career, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks (2003-10), Golden State Warriors (2011) and New Jersey Nets (2011), with career statistics of 525 games (164 starts), 4.7ppg and 4.4rpg. With the Knicks, Gadzuric will be re-joining Bruin teammate Baron Davis (in 1998-99, Davis was a Bruin sophomore starting guard and Gadzuric was UCLA's freshman starting center).
Statistical Leaders (Top 10)
Jordan Farmar, New Jersey Nets - Farmar was the NBA's No. 9 three-point shooter (55-125, .440/39 games).
Two of the Top 5 Scorers this week in the NBA are from UCLA:
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves - Love was the NBA's No. 4 scorer (26.0ppg/55 games), No. 2 rebounder (13.3rpg/55 games) and No. 2 in minutes played (39.0/55 games) and No. 1 in double-doubles (48/55 games). He's the only player in the league in the Top Five in both scoring/rebounding (only 10 players in NBA history have averaged 25+ points and 14+ rebounds in regular season play). Love became the first player in NBA history to record 35 points, 10 rebounds and hit five 3-pointers in consecutive games (March 5, Minnesota 95, at LA Clippers 94, 39 points/17rebounds/5-10 three-pointers; March 3, Minnesota 122, at Portland 110, season-best 42 points/10rebounds/5-8 three-pointers).
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City - Westbrook was the NBA's No. 5 scorer (23.8ppg/63 games) and No. 7 in steals (1.68/63 games).
New Orleans Trevor Ariza has missed the Hornets last eight games. He's not injured, a coaching decision, the Hornets are giving their younger players more game minutes.
Indiana's Darren Collison, who had missed six of the last seven Pacers' games with a sore groin, did play 15 minutes, with eight points (3-3, 0-0, 2-2) and two assists on April 21 at Indianapolis, when the Pacers seven-game winning streak was snapped by Philadelphia, 109-106 in overtime. Before the injury, Collison had started the Pacers first 56 games.
New Jersey's Jordan Farmar has missed 18 of the Nets' last 19 games with a strained right groin.
Minnesota's Kevin Love, the NBA's No. 4 scorer and No. 2 rebounder, has missed the Timberwolves' last six games with a concussion/neck strain, an injury he suffered in a game on April 11. The Timberwolves have lost 11 of their last 12 games.
Utah's Earl Watson suffered a torn medial meniscus on Apr. 8, which will require surgery. Watson is out for the season.