April 17, 2012
Each week, uclabruins.com will update and highlight select UCLA players' progress during the current NBA season. Games highlighted are from Apr. 9-15.
UCLA in the NBA/Player Highlights
Arron Afflalo, G (fifth NBA season, third with Denver Nuggets, Western Conference/NW Div., 33-27, second-place/currently has seventh seed in Western Conference) - On April 15 at Denver, in a game between the seventh (Nuggets) and eighth seeded (Houston) teams in the Western Conference, the Nuggets defeated the Rockets, 101-86. Afflalo started and played 33 minutes, scoring 18 of his game-high tying 20 points (9-15, 2-3, 0-0/double-figures in 27 of last 28 games, including 16 consecutive; 20 or more points on 15 occasions, including two of last three games) in the second half, with four rebounds and two assists. On April 13 at the Staples Center, the Nuggets lost to the Lakers, 103-97. Afflalo started and played a team-high 38 minutes, with 18 points (7-15, 0-2, 4-5) and four rebounds and assists. On April 11 at Denver, the Nuggets beat the Timberwolves, 113-107. Afflalo started and played a game-high tying 37 minutes, with 21 points (7-14, 3-5, 4-6), one rebound and three assists. On April 9 at Denver, the Nuggets revenged their loss to Golden State two nights before, beating the Warriors, 123-84 and Denver's 39-point margin of victory was the largest of the season and the sixth-largest in Nuggets' franchise history. Afflalo started and played a game-high 36 minutes, with 15 points (6-14, 1-2, 2-2), eight rebounds, five assists and one steal.
This week's Nuggets schedule: April 16 - at Houston, April 18 - LA Clippers, April 21 - at Phoenix, April 22 - Orlando.
Afflalo's Season Stats: 56G/56GS (most team starts), 33.3MIN, 3.1RB, 2.4AST, 15.0PPG (No. 2 team scorer).
Matt Barnes, F (ninth NBA season, second with Los Angeles Lakers, Western Conference/Pacific Div., 39-22, first-place/third place in Western Conference, clinched playoff spot) - On April 15 at the Staples Center, the Lakers beat the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks for the fourth time this season (4-0/Dallas swept the Lakers last year in the playoffs), 112-108 in overtime. It was the Lakers fifth consecutive game without Kobe Bryant (left shin injury; Lakers are 4-1 without Bryant). Barnes had another productive all-around game, leading the Lakers reserves in minutes (33), points (11, 4-7, 2-3, 1-2/averaged 14.3 points in last four games), rebounds (11) and assists (season and game-high eight), with a team-best one blocked shot. With 3.9 seconds left in overtime and the Lakers up by two points, Barnes' defense on Dallas' Jason Terry prevented Terry from making a layup to tie the game. On April 13 at the Staples Center, the Lakers, without head coach Mike Brown (family reasons) and Kobe Bryant (missed fourth consecutive game), improved to 3-1 vs. Denver, winning 103-97 and clinching a playoff spot. Barnes once again led all Lakers reserves, in one of the best overall games of his career, played 29 minutes, with 24 points (season-high 9-11, season-high 4-4, 2-3/highest single-game output in his two-year Lakers career), game-high tying 10 rebounds and two assists. Barnes was particularly effective late in the game, scoring on a three-pointer and layup, with an important assist that led to an Andrew Bynum dunk. On April 11 at San Antonio, in their first of three meetings in the next 10 days, the Lakers, led by Andrew Bynum's NBA single-game high 30 rebounds (fifth time in Lakers history, including twice by Bruin great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, last in 1978) and playing for the third game without Kobe Bryant, defeated the Spurs, 98-84. Barnes played 23 minutes and led all Lakers reserves with 13 points (5-8, 3-6, 0-0), six rebounds, four assists and one blocked shot. On April 9 at New Orleans, the Lakers, playing for a second consecutive game without Kobe Bryant, halted their two-game losing streak by overcoming a fourth quarter eight point Hornet advantage and beat New Orleans 93-91 (Lakers 3-0 vs. New Orleans this season). Barnes saved the Lakers win with his heads-up play with 1.2 seconds left. With the Lakers winning 93-91, Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) inbounded the ball from midcourt towards the New Orleans basket, where Barnes and the Hornets Jason Smith fought for possession of the basketball, with Barnes keeping the ball from Smith and a potential tying Hornets basket. Barnes played 24 minutes and led all Lakers reserves with nine points (3-5, 1-3, 2-2) and eight rebounds, along with one assist and a team-high tying two blocked shots.
This week's Lakers schedule: April 17 - San Antonio, April 18 - at Golden State, April 20 - at San Antonio, April 22 - Oklahoma City.
Barnes' Season Stats: 59G/16GS, 22.8MIN, 5.4RB, 1.9AST, 7.7PPG (leads Lakers reserves in minutes, scoring and rebounding).
Baron Davis, G (13th NBA season, first with New York Knicks, Eastern Conference/Atlantic Div., 31-29 third-place/eighth-place in Eastern Conference) - On April 15 at Madison Square Garden, Miami clinched the Eastern Conference Southeast Div., beating the Knicks, 93-85. Davis, starting his 11th consecutive game for the injured Jeremy Lin (surgery on left knee, out six weeks), started and played 26 minutes, with three points (1-6, 0-3, 1-4), one rebound, four assists and one steal. On April 13 at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks won their second straight game, beating Washington, 103-65 and tied for seventh-place in the Eastern Conference. Davis, on his 33rd birthday started and played 22 minutes and scored a season-high 18 points (season-high 7-9, season-high 4-5, 0-0), with one rebound, two assists and team-high tying two steals. On April 11 at Milwaukee, the Knicks took a two-game lead over the Bucks for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, beating Milwaukee, 111-107. Davis started and played 19 minutes, with five points (2-4, 0-0, 1-2), one rebound, three assists and two steals. On April 10 at Chicago, the Bulls, with the best record in the NBA, revenged their loss at New York just two nights before, beating the Knicks, 99-86. Davis, starting his eighth game for the injured Jeremy Lin, played 26 minutes, with eight points (3-6, 2-4, 0-0), one rebound and team-high six assists.
This week's Knicks schedule: April 17 - Boston, April 18 - at New Jersey, April 20 - at Cleveland, April 22 - at Atlanta.
Davis' Season Stats: 26G/11GS, 20.2MIN, 2.0RB, 4.7AST, 1.2STL, 5.9PPG.
Jrue Holiday, G (third NBA season with Philadelphia 76ers, Eastern Conference/Atlantic Div., 31-28, second-place/seventh-place in Eastern Conference) - On April 13 at Philadelphia, the 76ers, with six of their final seven games on the road, hurt their chances of improving their playoff seeding, losing to New Jersey, 95-89. Holiday started and played 34 minutes, with a team-high 19 points (7-14, 1-2, 4-5/double figures two of last three games), four rebounds, team-high six assists and one steal. On April 11 at Toronto, the 76ers solidified their seventh-place Eastern Conference position, beating the Raptors, 93-75. Holiday started and played a game-high 37 minutes, with eight points (4-9, 0-1, 0-2), seven rebounds, game-high seven assists and one blocked shot and steal. On April 10 in Newark, the 76ers ended their four-game losing streak, beating New Jersey, 107-88 and holding onto the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Holiday started and played 31 minutes, with 14 points (6-12, 1-2, 1-1), four rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot.
This week's 76ers schedule: April 16 - at Orlando, April 17 - Indiana, April 18 - at Cleveland, April 21 - at Indiana.
Holiday's Season Stats: 59G/59GS (most team starts, has started every game), 33.9MIN, 3.3RB, 4.4AST, 1.5STL, 13.4PPG (No. 2 team scorer).
Ryan Hollins, C (sixth NBA season, first with Boston Celtics, started the season with Cleveland Cavaliers, Eastern Conference/Atlantic Div., 36-25, first-place/fourth-place in Eastern Conference, clinched playoff spot) - On April 15 at Charlotte, the Celtics rested three starters and defeated the Bobcats, 94-82. Hollins played a Celtics season-high 19 minutes, with two points (1-1, 0-0, 0-1), Celtics season-best four rebounds and one steal. On April 14 at Newark, the Celtics beat New Jersey, 94-82 and have won 10 of 13 and 20 of their last 28 games to take over first-place in the Atlantic Div. Eastern Conference. Hollins played three minutes with two rebounds. On April 13 at Toronto, the Raptors snapped Boston's four-game winning streak, beating the Celtics, 84-79. Hollins played for the first time in three games, with five minutes, three points (1-1, 0-0, 1-2) and one assist. On April 11 at Boston, the Celtics won their fourth consecutive game, beating Atlanta, 88-86 in overtime (Hollins did not play). On April 10 at Miami, the Celtics shot a season-high 61% and won an important Eastern Conference game, beating the Heat, 115-107 for their eighth win in the last 10 games (Hollins did not play).
This week's Celtics schedule: April 17 - at New York, April 18 - Orlando, April 20 - at Atlanta.
Hollins' Season Stats (Celtics): 11G, 7.4MIN, 1.2RB, 2.3 PPG/(Total, includes Cleveland stats): 35G/7GS, 12.6MIN, 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., 25-36, fifth-place/12th-place in Western Conference)) - On April 14 at Minneapolis, the Timberwolves lost their ninth straight game and 25th in a row in April dating back to 2009, losing to Oklahoma City, 115-110. Lee played 10 minutes, with three points (1-2, 0-0, 1-1) and three assists. On April 12 at Minneapolis, the Timberwolves were eliminated from the playoffs, losing to the LA Clippers, 95-82. Lee played 16 minutes, with five points (2-6, 1-3, 0-0), two rebounds and assists and one steal. On April 11 at Denver, the Timberwolves lost their seventh consecutive game, losing to the Nuggets, 113-107. Lee played 14 minutes, with two points (1-1, 0-0, 0-0) and three assists. On April 9 at Minneapolis, the Timberwolves lost their sixth consecutive game, losing to Phoenix, 114-90. Lee played a career-best 22 minutes, with five points (1-4, 0-1, 3-4), two rebounds, career and team-high tying five assists and one blocked shot.
This week's Timberwolves schedule: April 16 - at Indiana, April 17 - Memphis, April 19 - at Detroit, April 22 - Golden State.
Lee's Season Stats: 15G, 12.5MIN, 1.3RB, 1.8AST, 3.0PPG.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, F (fourth NBA season with Milwaukee Bucks, Eastern Conference/Central Div., 29-31, third-place/ninth-place in Eastern Conference, two games behind New York for final playoff spot) - On April 14 at Milwaukee, the Bucks lost to Indiana, 105-99. Mbah a Moute played 19 minutes with six points (2-5, 0-0, 2-4), two rebounds and one steal. On April 13 at Detroit, the Bucks stopped their two-game losing streak, beating the Pistons, 113-97 and are two games out of the final playoff spot (eighth-place) in the Eastern Conference (Mbah a Moute did not play). On April 11 at Milwaukee, the Bucks' did not help their playoff hopes and lost to New York, 111-107. The Knicks are in eighth-place (final playoff spot), two games ahead of Milwaukee. Mbah a Moute played 31 minutes, with eight points (3-7, 0-0, 2-5), a team-high eight rebounds, one assist and blocked shot and two steals. On April 9 at Milwaukee, the Bucks' six-game winning streak was stopped by Oklahoma City, as the Thunder beat Milwaukee, 109-89. Mbah a Moute, who missed the last two games with right knee tendonitis, played 19 minutes, with nine points (4-9, 0-1, 1-2), two rebounds, one assist and steal.
This week's Bucks schedule: April 18 - at Washington, April 19 - at Indiana, April 21 - New Jersey.
Mbah a Moute's Season Stats: 40G/20GS, 22.9MIN, 5.2RB, 7.6PPG.
Russell Westbrook, G (fourth NBA season with Oklahoma City Thunder, Western Conference/NW Div., 44-16, .733, first-place/clinched NW Div. title, second-best record in the NBA/first-place in Western Conference) - On April 14 at Minneapolis, the Thunder won their second consecutive game and stayed atop the Western Conference, beating Minnesota, 115-110. Westbrook started and played a team-high 38 minutes, with 35 points (12-25, 2-4, 9-10/ scored in double figures 57 consecutive games, including 20 or more points on 42 occasions, scored 20 or more points seven of last nine games, has scored 35 or more points on five occasions), one rebound, team-high eight assists and two steals. On April 13 at Oklahoma City, the Thunder defeated Sacramento, 115-89, it was the Kings seventh consecutive loss. Westbrook started and played 27 minutes (the Thunder rested their starters in the fourth quarter), with 22 points (10-18, 0-0, 2-5), six rebounds, team-high five assists and one steal. On April 11 at Oklahoma City, the Thunder suffered a rare loss at home, losing to the LA Clippers, 100-98 as the Clippers' Chris Paul scored 31 points, including the team's last 11 points and winning layup with 8.8 second left to play. Westbrook started and played 36 minutes, with 20 points (3-14, 1-5, 13-15), four rebounds and a game-high tying seven assists. On April 9 at Milwaukee, the Thunder, in a game marred by seven technical fouls, defeated the Bucks, 109-89, ending Milwaukee's six-game winning streak. Westbrook started and played 26 minutes, with a game-high 26 points (11-21, 3-5, 1-1/ scored in double figures 54 consecutive games, including 20 or more points on 39 occasions, scored 20 or more points four of last six games), game-high tying seven rebounds, three assists and one steal.
This week's Thunder schedule: April 16 - at LA Clippers, April 18 - at Phoenix, April 20 - at Sacramento, April 22 - at LA Lakers.
Westbrook's Season Stats: 60G/60GS (has started every game), 35.5MIN, 4.5RB, team-leading 5.4AST and 1.7STL, 24.3ppg (No. 2 team scorer).
Statistical Leaders (Top 10)
Jordan Farmar, New Jersey Nets - Farmar was the NBA's No. 8 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). 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 (24.3ppg/60 games) and No. 7 in steals (1.68/60 games).
Indiana's Darren Collison has missed the Pacers' last four games with a sore groin. Before the injury, Collison had started the Pacers' first 56 games.
New Jersey's Jordan Farmar has missed 15 of the last 16 games with a strained right groin.
On April 11 at Denver, the Timberwolves Kevin Love suffered a mild concussion/neck strain in the first quarter, and Minnesota lost for the seventh consecutive time, losing to the Nuggets, 113-107. Starting and playing only eight minutes with three rebounds, Love took an unintentional elbow to the head from Denver's Javale McGee and spent the night at a hospital. Since the injury, Love, the NBA's No. 4 scorer and No. 2 rebounder, has missed Minnesota's last two games, both losses.
On April 8, Utah's Earl Watson played only four minutes in a loss at San Antonio because of right knee soreness. The following day, he was diagnosed with a torn medial meniscus, which will require surgery, and he is out for the season.