Feb. 27, 2012
Each week, uclabruins.com will update and highlight select UCLA players' progress during the current NBA season. Games highlighted are from Feb. 21-26, including NBA All-Star Weekend, during which Kevin Love won the Foot Locker three-point contest.
Feb. 24-26 - NBA All-Star Weekend/Orlando, FL (courtesy NBA.com)
For the second year in a row, the West All-Stars beat the East All-Stars, 152-149. The West set a first-half record by scoring 88 points (88-69 at halftime) and withstood a late East rally, with the East coming back from a 21-point deficit.
Playing for the West All-Stars for the second straight year were Minnesota's Kevin Love and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook. Coming off the bench, Westbrook led all West reserves in minutes (27:31) and points (21, 10-17FG, 1-4 3-PTFG, 0-2FT) and added five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Love played 18:24 minutes, with 17 points (7-12FG, 2-4 3-PTFG, 1-3FT), led all West reserves with seven rebounds and had a game-high tying three steals and one assist.
On Feb. 25, Love won the Foot Locker three-point contest, and Westbrook took part in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, won by San Antonio's Tony Parker.
In the three-point contest, Love had to survive two tiebreakers to win the title. He beat the hometown favorite, Orlando's Ryan Anderson; former three-point contest winner Miami's James Jones; New Jersey's Anthony Morrow; and then out-pointed Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, a top-three NBA scorer. And he did this while bringing the lowest three-point percentage (.348) of all the contestants, which meant nothing on this night.
"That doesn't mean I'm going to start throwing up threes the rest of the season," Love said. "I'm not going to let this go to my head in that respect. But this shows how much work I put in with Terry Porter (Wolves assistant coach) who finished runner-up twice in this contest. This is for him. I was the dark horse in that competition if you consider a few of the guys in particular. Once I saw that (Durant) was added to the competition, I thought, 'oh, no.' He's the type of guy who can get hot."
Love joins Jason Kapono as Bruins who have won the NBA three-point contest. Kapono, who is now in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers (ninth season in the NBA), won in 2007 with Miami and 2008 with Toronto.
In the Skills Challenge, Westbrook clocked a time of 33.8 in the first round of the obstacle course that requires a chest pass and a bounce pass through a target, a shot from the top of the key and an outlet pass before finishing with a dunk or layup. His time was the fifth-fatest of the group, behind Tony Parker (29.2 seconds), New Jersey's Deron Williams (28.3), and Boston's Rajon Rondo and Washington's John Wall (32.8). Cleveland's Kyrie Irving was sixth (42.2). Parker, Williams and Rondo (after beating Wall in a tiebreaker) advanced to the finals. Parker clocked the fastest time in the final with a time of 32.8 seconds. Rondo was second at 34.6, and Williams third with 41.4.
UCLA in the NBA/Player Highlights (Feb. 21-26)
Arron Afflalo (fifth NBA season, third with Denver Nuggets, Western Conference/NW Div., 18-17, third-place) - On Feb. 22 at the Staples Center, Denver, missing three starters with injuries, lost to the Los Angeles Clippers, 103-95 (on Feb. 2, Denver defeated the Clippers by 21 points). Afflalo started and played a team-high 37 minutes, with a team-high 20 points (7-10, 2-4, 4-5/has three consecutive 20 point games and has scored 20 or more points in Denver's six of last eight contests), six rebounds and three assists. On Feb. 23 in Denver, the Nuggets dropped a 114-99 decision to San Antonio (the Nuggets have lost two consecutive games and five of their last six). Afflalo started and played 39 minutes, with 19 points (6-16, 3-5, 4-5), four rebounds, one assist and one steal. This week's Nuggets schedule - Feb. 29- Portland, March 2- at Houston, March 4- at San Antonio.
Afflalo's Season Stats: 30G/30GS, 30.6MIN, 2.7RB, 1.7AST, 12.2PPG
Trevor Ariza (eighth NBA season, second with New Orleans, Western Conference/SW Div., 8-25, fifth-place) - On Feb. 21 at Indiana, the Pacers beat the Hornets, 117-108 in overtime (New Orleans has lost 10 of their last 13 games). Ariza started and played a team-high 42 minutes, with a team-high 21 points (8-15, 3-6, 2-2), team-high tying six rebounds, five assists and one blocked shot and steal. This week's Hornets schedule - Feb. 28- at Chicago, Feb. 29- Toronto, March 2- Dallas, March 3- Indiana
Ariza's Season Stats: 25G/25GS, 35.0MIN, 5.7RB, 3.4AST, 1.6STL, 11.8PPG
Matt Barnes (ninth NBA season, second with Los Angeles Lakers, Western Conference/Pacific Div., 20-14, second-place) - On Feb. 22, the Lakers won at Dallas, beating the defending NBA champions, 96-91, and improving their road record to 6-11. Barnes played 28 minutes, with nine points (3-7, 1-3, 2-4), nine rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot. With 18.9 seconds left to play, Barnes rebounded a Pau Gasol missed free throw, was fouled and made both of his free throws to give the Lakers a 95-91 lead (the Mavericks did not score for the remainder of the game). This week the Lakers will have three home games - Feb. 29- Minnesota, March 2- Sacramento, March 4- Miami.
Barnes' Season Stats: 32G/16GS, 21.7MIN, 4.8RB, 1.7AST, 7.0PPG (Barnes' 7.0ppg and 4.8rpg leads all Laker reserves).
Darren Collison (third NBA season, second with Indiana, Eastern Conference/Central Div., 21-12, second-place) - On Feb. 21 at Indianapolis, the Pacers defeated New Orleans, 117-108 in overtime. Indiana had a 10-0 streak in overtime and won their third consecutive game. Collison started and played 39 minutes, with 18 points (8-11, 1-1, 1-3), season-high tying eight rebounds, team-high tying six assists and one steal. On Feb. 22 at Charlotte, Indiana beat the Bobcats, 102-88. The Pacers won their fourth consecutive game and beat Charlotte for the ninth consecutive time. Collison started and played 24 minutes, with 10 points (2-7, 1-2, 5-6), five rebounds and four assists. This week's Pacers' games - Feb. 28- Golden State, March 3- at New Orleans.
Collison's Season Stats: 33G/33GS, 33.4MIN, 3.5RB, team-leading 5.2AST, 11.5PPG
Baron Davis (13th NBA season, first with New York Knicks, Eastern Conference/Atlantic Div., 17-18 second-place) - Davis has appeared in three games since recovering from a bulging back disc. This week's Knicks schedule - Feb. 29 - Cleveland, March 4 - at Boston.
Davis' Season Stats: 3G, 12.3MIN, 3.3AST, 1.3PPG
Jrue Holiday (third NBA season with Philadelphia 76ers, Eastern Conference/Atlantic Div., 20-14, first-place) - On Feb. 21 at Memphis, the Grizzles defeated Philadelphia, 89-76. The 76ers shot only 36.5% from the field and lost their four consecutive game. Holiday started and played 35 minutes, with a game-high 22 points (9-18, 4-5, 0-0/second straight 20 point scoring game), five rebounds, four assists and one steal. This week's 76ers schedule - Feb. 28- at Detroit, Feb. 29- Oklahoma City, March 2- Golden State, March 4- Chicago.
Holiday's Season Stats: 34G/34GS, 34.8MIN, 3.3RB, 4.5AST, 1.5STL, 13.6PPG (No. 2 team scorer)
Ryan Hollins (sixth NBA season, second with Cleveland Cavaliers, Eastern Conference/Central Div., 13-18, third-place) - On Feb. 22 at Cleveland, the Cavaliers lost to New Orleans, 89-84. Hollins played a season-high 28 minutes, with five points (1-1, 0-0, 3-4), season-high six rebounds and two assists and game-high tying two blocked shots. This week's Cavaliers schedule - Feb. 28 - Boston, Feb. 29- at New York, March 2- Chicago, March 3- at Washington.
Hollins' Season Stats: 16G, 12.7MIN, 1.9RB, 3.1PPG
Kevin Love (fourth NBA season with Minnesota Timberwolves, Western Conference/NW Div., 17-17, fourth-place) - On Feb. 22 at Minneapolis, the Timberwolves rallied from 18 points in the fourth quarter, to defeat Utah, 100-98. Love started and played a team-high 37 minutes, with 10 points (3-14, 0-2, 4-6) and 10 rebounds (11th consecutive double-double/NBA leading 30th double-double), three assists and team and season-high tying three steals. This week the Timberwolves have four road games, including two in Los Angeles - Feb. 28- at Clippers, Feb. 29- at Lakers, March 1- at Phoenix, March 3- at Portland.
Love's Season Stats: 32G/32GS, NBA-leading 39.9MIN, team-leading 14.0REB, 1.9AST, 1.0STL, team-leading 25.5PPG
Russell Westbrook (fourth NBA season with Oklahoma City Thunder, Western Conference/NW Div., 27-7, first-place, tied with Miami for the NBA best record (.794) - On Feb. 22, Oklahoma City won its 11th consecutive home game, beating Boston 119-104. Westbrook led the Thunder, playing a team-high 41 minutes and scoring a team-high 31 points (11-24, 1-2, 8-9), five rebounds, six assists and one steal. Westbrook in the Thunder's last three contests has scored 31 points, twice and a season-high 40 points. On Feb. 23 in Oklahoma City, the Thunder won their 12th straight home game, beating the Lakers, 100-85. Westbrook started and played 38 minutes, with 19 points (6-17, 2-5, 5-7), five rebounds, a game-high tying six assists and one steal. He has scored in double figures in 33 of the last 34 games. This week's Thunder games - Feb. 29- at Philadelphia, March 1- at Orlando, March 3- at Atlanta.
Westbrook's Season Stats: 34G/34GS, 35.1MIN, 4.8RB, team-leading 5.5AST, team-leading 1.8STL, 23.5ppg (No. 2 team scorer)
NBA Statistical Leaders
Jordan Farmar, New Jersey Nets - through 29 games, Farmar was the NBA's No. 4 three-point shooter (42-90, .467). Farmar has missed three of New Jersey's last six games with a strained right groin.
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves - through 32 games, Love was the NBA's No. 4 scorer (23.5ppg) and No. 2 rebounder (14.0rpg).
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City - Through 34 games, Westbrook was the NBA's No. 5 scorer (23.5ppg) and No. 8 in steals (1.85spg).