Adams leads UCLA to 80-66 win over Utah
LOS ANGELES (AP) Jordan Adams scored 24 points and UCLA opened the second half with a 14-0 run on the way to an 80-66 victory over Utah on Saturday.
Kyle Anderson had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for UCLA (20-5, 9-3 Pac-12), and Norman Powell had 13 points before fouling out with 50 seconds remaining.
UCLA, coming off a 92-74 victory over Colorado on Saturday, has won six of seven since Utah beat them 71-67 on Jan. 18 at the Huntsman Center despite Anderson’s season-high 28 points – the last time Utah gave up 25 or more by an opposing player. That loss dropped the Bruins out of the AP top 25, and they haven’t been back since.
Delon Wright scored 16 points for Utah (17-8, 6-7). The Utes, who came in with a 3-game winning streak, are 3-29 on the road since Larry Krystkowiak became coach in 2011-12.
This was only the second loss this season by Utah that was decided by more than four points. The other was Jan. 26, when the Utes lost to then-unbeaten Arizona 65-56 at Tucson. Utah was coming off its first road win of the season, a 79-71 decision against USC on Thursday.
Adams, who made 10 of 14 shots, paced UCLA to a 33-31 halftime lead with 12 points. Neither team led by more than six until Travis Ware’s 3-pointer increased the Bruins’ margin to 40-31 with 16:38 to play. Adams converted a three-point play 66 seconds later after a missed 3-point attempt at the other end by Jordan Loveridge, making it 45-31.
The Utes didn’t make a field goal in the second half until Loveridge connected on an 18-footer with 14:27 remaining. Anderson gave UCLA its biggest lead, 64-47, on a jumper with 5:46 to play and Utah got no closer than 74-64 after Wright was fouled behind the 3-point line by Powell and made all three free throws.
Freshman guard Zach LaVine, the Bruins’ leading scorer off the bench and fourth-leading scorer overall coming in, missed his first six shots before ending the drought on a layup with 39 seconds on the clock.
ULCA came in averaging 83.2 points through its first 24 games – the Bruins’ highest output at that stage since 1994-95, when they had an 87.5 scoring average and went on to win the school’s 16th NCAA championship.
That season also marked the last time a UCLA player recorded at least 200 rebounds and 100 assists until this one, when Anderson became the first since Charles O’Bannon to turn the trick. Entering Saturday, Anderson was only player in the nation who was averaging at least 10.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists.