Opened in June of 1965, the Pauley Pavilion has seen more than its fair share of history: 23 Pac-12 title-winners, five Naismith Players of the Year and nine national champions. Yet, on Saturday night, the Bruins could have fallen on the wrong side of history had they lost their fifth straight game to the Trojans for the first time since they lost 42 in a row to their crosstown rivals from 1933-1942.From the tip, the game emanated an aura of intensity. USC led by as many as five before something awakened in their sixth-ranked opponents. As if they could sense infamy enshrouding them, the Bruins responded to their deficit with unparalleled effort. Drawing from the energy of the sold-out Pavilion, the Bruins ended the half on an extended 28-11 run. They never looked back en route to a robust 102-70 victory.Both teams did what they do best, but UCLA executed much better. The Bruins pressed, played fast and scored often. USC dunked, shot threes and forced turnovers. In the first 12 minutes, the two teams traded the lead four times. However, the Trojans lacked the firepower to recover from their crippling first-half finish. “The problem was we couldn’t make a shot,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “You can’t beat this team when you shoot 31 percent from three and 33 percent from the field.” USC (21-6, 8-6), tops in the Pac-12 in steals, scored 10 of its first 23 points off turnovers. Then, UCLA (24-3, 11-3), which leads the Pac-12 in assist-to-turnover ratio, stopped turning the ball over. The rest of the game, USC scored only four points off turnovers. UCLA, on the other hand, tallied 23 assists. “Both team had 10 turnovers. We just could not make the shots especially to stem their runs,” Enfield added.UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, had a couple of early turnovers before righting the ship to finish with 15 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds. His backcourt counterpart, senior Bryce Alford, joined him in making 3-point shots from as deep as 25 feet. He added 26 points, six assists and no had turnovers. As a team, UCLA shot 50 percent (10-of-20) from 3-point range.“Our offense kicked into gear because we got great defensive stops,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “We played really well on the defensive end. We’re growing on that end of the court.”While the Trojans stretched their defense to guard UCLA’s 3-point bombers, big men Thomas Welsh and TJ Leaf established supremacy in the paint. Welsh, the junior center, finished with a monstrous double-double — 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. His counterpart, Leaf, added 19 points and 8 rebounds. The duo squelched USC’s comeback hopes early in the second half after a series of second-chance putbacks. “We could not get stops on defense,” sophomore Shaqquan Aaron said. Those stops, he continued, usually lead to points when USC runs its signature transition offense.With 10:42 to play, the Trojans pulled within 10 points, but they never shot well enough to keep up with the best offense in the nation. Freshman Jonah Mathews attributed UCLA’s pull-away to its superb shooting.“We played hard, but [Bryce] Alford was making deep 3s and tough, contested shots,” Mathews said. “When that happens there is nothing you can really do about it. I feel like we competed; they just played harder than us.” In their first match-up, Alford only made one 3-point shot. On Saturday, he made five.With three minutes to play, the Trojans completely ran out of gas. UCLA, still feeding from the ecstatic crowd, went on an 11-0 run that included their 10th 3-point make of the night and an emphatic slam by Ball. The Bruins scored 56 points in the second half alone.“It’s special,” Welsh said about playing with Bryce Alford on one of his hot nights.Despite UCLA’s 32 point margin of victory, USC got to the line 19 more times than the Bruins. Because of their physicality, the Trojans were not phased by UCLA’s finesse. But to beat UCLA in a potential Pac-12 Tournament grudge match, Aaron said the Trojans must play with more intensity. “Their guys can go on runs,” he said. “We need to run with them. We’re going to learn from our mistakes, watch film and come back playing harder.”
Another interesting hockey-related nugget: Steve Carell, who played main character Michael Scott, grew up playing hockey in Massachusetts and actually played college hockey at Division III Denison University.”I am the LeBron James of rec league hockey,” he told Rachel Nichols back in 2014. “There was a period of time I thought, ‘Wow, maybe I could play this professionally.'”What a Michael Scott thing to say.With that, here’s a quick look at the four best hockey moments from “The Office.”MORE: Ranking the top 20 sports moments of ‘The Office'”Michael’s Birthday”Season 2, Episode 19Hockey reference: To celebrate Michael’s birthday the staff heads to the local hockey rink for some ice skating. Of course, Michael is always a bit extreme and comes out in full hockey gear — Louisville gloves with the laces, Tackla pants, Bauer helmet sans chin strap and an Easton composite stick — and after deking around some skaters like Jim and Pam, he, of course, checks Toby into the glass.via GIPHYHowever, the best hockey reference is the gift from Dwight, a black Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins jersey with the No. 1 and “From Dwight” on the nameplate.Memorable quote: “Yeah, I’ve been pretty much skating my whole life. I thought about playing in the NHL but you’re on the road so much, you have no time to spend with your wife and kids [dramatic pause] and I really want a wife and kids.” — Michael ScottFun fact: Jenna Fischer, who is a massive St. Louis Blues fan, is actually a really good skater, as she told TV Guide back when the episode came out in 2006. She had to learn for her role in “Blades of Glory” but for television, she couldn’t show off her skills.”I don’t have any routines in the movie, but it was important that I be able to skate well,” she wrote. “They started me on lessons, and I was getting quite good. It was right at that time that I found out about this episode of The Office. We decided that Pam [Beesly] was not such a great skater. She has to lean on Jim. So, when you see me fumbling around on the ice, I’m only acting.”From 2019 Stanley Cup Final: Jim and Pam from ‘The Office’ a house divided”Threat Level Midnight”Season 7, Episode 17Hockey reference: Ten years in the making, Michael releases his action flick “Threat Level Midnight” where he, secret agent Michael Scarn, must stop Goldenface (played by Jim Halpert) from blowing up the NHL All-Star Game. To save the game, he has to learn how to play hockey — and as we know already, Carell knows how to skate; he showed off some fancy footwork and a big-time slapper.Memorable quote: “Hey! We’ve got sports games again.” — Billy the bartender (Andy Bernard)MORE: Six things you didn’t know from ‘The Office’ basketball game episodeFun fact: B.J. Novak, the writer of the episode, picked the NHL All-Star Game because “all-star games are a little flashy and silly and insignificant, compared to championship games, but I could see Michael Scott falling for their appeal and mistaking them for something gravely important.He added: “Michael would have chosen hockey because he can skate and would want to show off.””The Client”Season 2, Episode 7Hockey reference: Everyone is discussing their worst first dates in the kitchen, and Pam chimes in that hers was when she went to a minor league hockey game where the date brought his brother and while she was in the bathroom the game ended and they left without her. The kicker? It was her then-fiance Roy.Memorable quote: “I have some faxes to get out.” — Pam to Jim when he makes fun of her being left at the game.Fun fact No. 1: This is the episode where the staff finds the script for “Threat Level Midnight” and conduct a table read.Fun fact No. 2: Honestly, what happened to Pam is not as bad as this: This Tweet recently caught the attention of thousands.Happened at a @SanJoseSharks game.A professional matchmaker says the man’s behavior isn’t surprising. 🤦🏻♀️He took “ghosting” to another level, during “cuffing season.”What?Dating trends to ditch, @ 11p #abc7now pic.twitter.com/F7udeC1SO4— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) December 31, 2019″Michael Scott Paper Company”Season 5, Episode 23Hockey reference: The episode features the new paper company spirited by Michael, Pam and Ryan Howard. In their shared office space, on the dry erase board, Michael quoted the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, with a Michael Scott-only twist.In the words of Wayne Gretzky through Michael Scott. pic.twitter.com/QWcuILrvhF— Wright Gazaway (@wgazawayWTOC) December 31, 2017Memorable quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky — Michael Scott March 24, 2005, marked the premiere of the U.S. version of “The Office” — one of the greatest TV comedies of the 21st century.We were introduced to the quirky employees of Dunder Mifflin, which was, yep, based in a hockey town: Wilkes-Barre Scranton, Pa., the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affiliate, the Penguins.