Feb. 7, 2012
Each week, uclabruins.com will update and highlight select UCLA players' progress during the current NBA season. Games highlighted are from Jan. 30-Feb. 5.
Arron Afflalo (Denver Nuggets, fifth NBA season, third with Denver) - On Feb. 2, the Nuggets traveled to Los Angeles and defeated the Clippers, 112-91, snapping the Clippers four-game winning streak. Afflalo started and played 35 minutes, contributing 15 points, including a game-high 8-8 from the free throw line, three rebounds and two assists. The Nuggets are currently 15-9 overall (second-place Western Conference Northwest Division) and Afflalo has appeared and started in 22 games (missed two games with a right groin strain), averaging 29.5 minutes, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 10.4 points. Denver's next three games are all at home - Feb. 6 (Houston), Feb. 8 (Dallas) and Feb.9 (Golden State).
Trevor Ariza (New Orleans Hornets, eighth NBA season, second with New Orleans) - On Feb. 4, the Hornets lost at Detroit, 89-87, it was New Orleans fifth consecutive loss. Ariza did have a standout game for Hornets, starting and playing 41 minutes, with a game-high 26 points, a team-high tying seven rebounds, four assists and a game-high three steals. Ariza has started all 16 games he's appeared in (he missed eight early season games with a groin strain) and is averaging 33.8 minutes, 5.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals and 11.1 points. The Hornets have the league's second-worst record (4-20, fifth-place, Western Conference Southwest Division) and this week host three games (Feb. 6 - Sacramento, Feb. 8- Chicago, Feb. 10 - Portland).
Matt Barnes (Los Angeles Lakers, ninth NBA season, second with Lakers) - On Feb. 3, the Lakers traveled to Denver to begin a six-game road trip and defeated the Nuggets 93-89, it was the Lakers' second consecutive road victory and overall third straight win. With two seconds left to play, Barnes rebounded a Nuggets missed shot, was fouled and hit both free throws to give the Lakers the 93-89 victory. He also picked up his fourth technical foul of the season. Barnes has appeared in 22 games, started 16, and is averaging 22.1 minutes, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 7.0 points. The Lakers, 14-10 overall (second-place, Western Conference Pacific Division), complete their road trip this week - Feb. 6, at Philadelphia; Feb. 9 - at Boston; Feb. 10 -at New York and Feb. 12 -at Toronto.
Darren Collison (Indiana Pacers, third NBA season, second with Indiana) - On Feb. 1, Indiana traveled to Minnesota and the Pacers defeated the Timberwolves, 109-99 for their third consecutive victory. Collison started and played 33 minutes, with 20 points, six rebounds, a game-high nine assists and two steals. Two nights later at Dallas, the Pacers defeated the defending NBA Champions, 98-87. Collison started and played 33 minutes, with 13 points, four rebounds, a game-high six assists and one steal as the Pacers won at Dallas for the first time in eight years and notched their 10th road win. Collison has started all 23 games for Indiana (16-7, second-place, Eastern Conference Central Division) and is averaging 33.8 minutes, 3.6 rebounds, team-leading 5.3 assists and 11.3 points. This week Indiana hosts Utah (Feb. 7), is at Atlanta (Feb. 8) and Memphis (Feb. 10) and hosts Denver (Feb. 11).
Jordan Farmar (New Jersey Nets, sixth NBA season, second with New Jersey) - Through 24 games, Farmar was the NBA's No. 8 in three-point field goal percentage (.460, 29-63). On Feb. 1, when New Jersey won at Detroit 99-96, Farmar had his first start of the season, playing 30 minutes, with 15 points, two rebounds and two assists. He's appeared in 23 games, averaging 21.2 minutes, 1.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 10.5 points. The Nets, 8-17 overall (fourth-place, Eastern Conference Atlantic Division), play three of their next four games at home (Feb. 6 - Chicago, Feb. 8- Detroit, Feb. 10 -at Detroit, Feb. 11 - San Antonio).
Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers, third NBA season with Philadelphia) - Holiday has helped lead the 76ers to first-place (17-7) in the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. On Feb. 1 in Philadelphia, the 76ers beat Chicago 98-82 for their fourth consecutive victory. In that game, Holiday started and played 34 minutes, with 17 points, four rebounds and five assists. He has started all 24 games, averaging a team-leading 35.2 minutes, 3.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 13.9 points (No. 2 in team scoring). The 76ers this week have three consecutive home games (Feb. 6- LA Lakers, Feb. 8- San Antonio, Feb. 10 - LA Clippers).
Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves, fourth NBA season with Minnesota) - After 23 games, Love was the NBA's No. 4 scorer (25.0ppg) and No. 2 rebounder (13.5rpg). Love has had a double-double in 21 of his last 23 games, including on Feb. 4 when Minnesota won at Houston (100-91), and he had a game-high 25 points and 18 rebounds. He has started all 24 games for the Timberwolves (12-12, fifth-place, Western Conference Northwest Division) and is averaging a team-leading 39.4 minutes, team-leading 13.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals and team-leading 25.0 points.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Milwaukee Bucks, fourth NBA season with Bucks) - On Feb. 1, Milwaukee won at Miami 105-97. The Bucks, trailing by 17 points after the first quarter, have beaten Miami twice this season and it was their third consecutive win. In the game, Mbah a Moute started and played 33 minutes with 13 points and eight rebounds. He has appeared in 12 games and started eight (he missed 11 games with right knee tendonitis), averaging 23.3 minutes, 4.6 rebounds and 5.8 points. The Bucks, 10-13 overall (third-place tie, Eastern Conference Central Division), play four game this week (Feb. 7 - Phoenix, Feb. 8 -at Toronto, Feb. 10 - at Cleveland, Feb. 11 - Orlando).
Earl Watson (Utah Jazz, 11th NBA season, second with Utah) - On Feb. 4, Watson played a key role in Utah's 96-87 victory over the LA Lakers. With Utah leading 72-68, Watson had physical contact with the Lakers' Pau Gasol, stole the basketball and led the Jazz fast-break that resulted in a Utah dunk and a 74-68 Utah lead. Laker coach Mike Brown, upset with the no-call, ran onto the court, was assessed two technical fouls and ejected. The Jazz were in the middle of a 14-0 run, completed by a Watson three-pointer, to give Utah an 83-68 lead with 6:18 left to play. Watson, who missed the previous game with a sprained left ankle, played the entire fourth quarter, scoring all eight of his points and getting six of his game-high 11 assists. Appearing in 21 games, he is averaging 21.7 minutes, 2.3 rebounds, a team-leading 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 4.1 points. The Jazz, 13-9 overall (third-place, Western Conference Northwest Division) this week play three of four games on the road (Feb. 6 -at New York, Feb. 7- at Indiana, Feb. 10 - Oklahoma City, Feb. 12- at Memphis).
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder, fourth NBA season with Thunder) - After 22 games, Westbrook was the NBA's No. 8 scorer (21.8ppg) and No. 5 in steals (2.05spg). Last week Westbrook had back-to-back 30 point games. On Jan. 30, when the Thunder lost to the Los Angeles Clippers (112-100), Westbrook started and played 37 minutes, with 31 points, four rebounds, four assists and a game-high five steals. Two nights later, when Oklahoma City traveled to Dallas and defeated the defending NBA champions 95-86, he started and played 36 minutes, with a game-high 33 points, six rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot and two steals. Westbrook has started all 23 games and is averaging 34.3 minutes, 4.7 rebounds, a team-leading 5.7 assists and 2.0 steals, and 21.7 points (No. 2 team scorer). Oklahoma City has the best record (18-5, first-place, Western Conference Northwest Division) in the NBA and begins a four-game road stand (Feb. 6 -at Portland, Feb. 7- at Golden State, Feb. 9 - at Sacramento, Feb. 10 -at Utah).
On Feb. 2, the NBA announced the 2012 All-Star lineup. Guards Darren Collison (Indiana), Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia), Arron Afflalo (Denver) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), along with forward Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) were on the ballot. Finishing in the Top 5 voting were Westbrook (fifth among Western Conference guards/262,186) and Love (fifth among Western Conference forwards/373,880), both 2011 All-Star selections. The NBA will name the remaining participants in the 2012 NBA All-Star on Feb. 9. The 61st NBA All-Star game is to be held in Orlando, FL on Sunday, Feb. 26. Both Westbrook and Love are also among the 20 finalists for the U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball team that will compete this summer in London, England. The official 12-man U. S. roster will be released later this year.
Baron Davis (13th NBA season, first with New York Knicks) and Malcolm Lee (1st NBA season with Minnesota Timberwolves) have not appeared in a game this season because of injuries. Davis is sidelined with a bulging back disc and Lee with a torn meniscus (left knee).