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USC downs UCLA in OT 75-71

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USC downs UCLA in OT 75-71

LOS ANGELES (AP) UCLA had its chances. The Bruins couldn't get defensive stops or make shots when they needed.

Jio Fontan and Aaron Fuller scored 15 points each and USC defeated UCLA 75-71 in overtime on Wednesday night, ending a four-game skid against the Trojans' crosstown rival.

``I'm a little disappointed at our effort coming out of the gate,'' Bruins guard Larry Drew II said. ``I don't think guys, for whatever reason, maybe were all the way into the game on the defensive end.''

Eric Wise added 12 points and 11 rebounds, J.T. Terrell and Byron Wesley each had 10 points for the USC (9-13, 4-5 Pac-12), which held the Bruins to 38 percent shooting while snapping a two-game losing streak.

The Trojans improved to 2-3 under interim coach Bob Cantu.

``With everything that has happened in the last couple of weeks, we just bonded together as a team,'' freshman Chass Bryan said, referring to coach Kevin O'Neill's firing. ``E Wise, Jio, all of our seniors stepped up. It feels great to get our first win in five years in the new Pauley Pavilion. We are just playing as a team at the right time, counting on each other and trusting each other.''

UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad scored 22 points but missed two 3-pointers in the final 1:14 of overtime while battling flu symptoms. He was given two liters of IV fluid before the game.

``He's a competitor,'' Travis Wear said. ``He's not going to let it stop him.''

The Bruins were 2 of 19 from 3-point range. They got outrebounded, 44-36.

``The guys stayed poised, they stayed committed and we told them to win on the road you have to stay focused and play through things,'' Cantu said. ``When we needed a basket, we got it. When we had to get it inbounds, we got it in.''

Wear, who returned after missing one game because of a concussion, added 16 points and Jordan Adams had 13 for the Bruins.

UCLA (16-6, 6-3) has dropped three of its last four and is in danger of slipping out of second place in the league after losing its only game this week.

``It's always worse when you lose to your rival and lose at home,'' coach Ben Howland said. ``We've got some soul searching to do to find our way back.''

The Bruins trailed by 15 points early in the second half and played from behind until Adams hit a jumper with 30 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 65 and force overtime.

In the extra session, Adams' layup gave UCLA a 69-67 lead, its first since 6:49 of the first half. Fontan hit a 3-pointer before Muhammad's basket put UCLA back in front 71-70. Wesley answered for USC with a jumper that gave the Trojans a 72-71 lead. Travis Wear fouled Ari Stewart, who made both free throws for a 74-71 lead with 11 seconds left. Muhammad missed another 3-pointer and then Adams committed his first foul with 4 seconds left, sending Fontan to the line where he sealed the victory.

``We're really, really good at times and we can be really, really bad at times,'' Drew II said. ``I try not to focus too much on the negatives, but in the last week we've lost more games than we've won. We have to try to change that and learn from our mistakes.''

Playing in a less than full Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins moved out to a 21-15 lead to open the first of two regular-season meetings between the rivals. USC dominated the final 7:16 of the half with a 23-9 run that gave the Trojans a 38-30 halftime lead. Fuller scored 11 points in the spurt.

USC picked up where it left off to start the second half, going on a 14-7 run and getting four points each from Dewayne Dedmon and Wise to extend their lead to 52-37.

The Bruins started rallying with a 3-pointer by Muhammad and a more active defense. His basket keyed a 19-9 run during which Fontan picked up his fourth foul for the Trojans after scoring five straight points in the spurt that closed UCLA to 61-56. Muhammad had six points and Wear and Drew II had four each.

Muhammad stole the ball from Fontan and scored to draw UCLA within two. After Fontan scored, Drew II made a layup that again brought the Bruins to 65-63. After passing the ball around, they tied the game at 65 on Adams' short jumper.

Wise got called for his fourth foul going to the basket with 3 seconds left. After a timeout, Drew II dribbled up the court and launched a 3-pointer that hit the front of the rim as time expired, forcing overtime.

The Bruins wore alternate all-blue uniforms that featured solid color blocking of the team logos and a shimmery finish.

Reggie Miller had his No. 31 jersey retired at halftime. He starred for the Bruins from 1984-87, helping them win the NIT title as a sophomore. It's the second No. 31 jersey in the rafters at Pauley Pavilion. Ed O'Bannon wore the same number as the star of UCLA's 1995 national championship team.

``Let's bring back those short shorts I was wearing in that video,'' Miller told the crowd.

Later, he said, ``I never thought something like this would happen. It's humbling.''

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Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

As the NHL continues to focus more on speed and skill, the Capitals took a very old-school approach to Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. From the moment the puck dropped until the clock hit zero, it was clear Washington came into Monday with a very physical game plan.

"It made a big difference," T.J. Oshie said. "I think in these games, everyone’s bringing energy and you kind of want to control that and direct it towards some positive play, some momentum building for your team, and tonight I think we handled that and did that pretty well."

"We just wanted to throw everything we had at them," Stephenson said. "It was a do or die game and we don't want our season to end."

It worked.

The scoresheet officially credited the Caps with 39 hits for the game. The Lightning had only 19. The physical play seemed to wear down Tampa Bay as the game went on.

After an even first period, Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second. Then, very fittingly, a physical fourth line extended that lead to 2-0 in the third to finish the Lightning off.

"All of a sudden now we turn a puck over, you’re back in your end, they’re feeling it, they’re being physical, crowd’s behind them and we’re spending way too much time in our D zone," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. "That’s what hurt us."

What made it so effective was the fact that the entire team bought into it. Alex Ovechkin was certainly the most noticeable player as he threw himself around like a wrecking ball against everyone wearing a white jersey. But it was not just his line. Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six hits, Devante Smith-Pelly recorded five of his own while Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom both had four.

The Lightning faced a constant barrage from the Caps from every line and defensive pair. There was no respite.

The hits also gave the fans plenty to cheer for.

The Caps were playing an elimination game at home and Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was standing on his head. Even with the score locked at 0-0 through the first period, the crowd was still very much into the game. There was no apprehension, there was no quiet tension. There was just a loud crowd cheering on its team.

"[The fans] were loud right from the start, which I think we fed off of and wanted to give them something back," Brooks Orpik said. "We didn't get a goal early. I think some of the physical play kind of helped carry that. They were great for us."

Now in the third round of the playoffs after six intense games between the Caps and Lightning, the hope is that Game 6's physical play will continue to take its toll on Tampa Bay heading into Game 7.

"We need to do that every game," Nicklas Backstrom said. "That's our forecheck. Hopefully, we can keep it going here in Game 7."

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2018 NBA Mock Draft: What's changed after the combine

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2018 NBA Mock Draft: What's changed after the combine

Something that used to be a rare occurrence has now happened four years in a row.

The Phoenix Suns had the best odds of winning the NBA lottery, and they did, landing the number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. 

Over the last four years, the team with the NBA's worst record has landed that top spot each year. Before this stretch though, dating back to 1985, only four teams that had the worst record still won the lottery.

Nine teams have also jumped at least five spots to get to No. 1 during that period as well.

Now the order is set (until any trades of course) and teams have had a chance to check out many of the top players at the combine.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT 

This draft is loaded with big man prospects too, from DeAndre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marvin Bagley, and Mohamed Bamba, along with countless others likely going in the top-14. 

There's also the very intriguing Luka Doncic, who most still believe won't go back to Real Madrid, even with him leaving the door open. 

A few names jumped into the first round since the last mock draft, which is something we always see after the combine. 

As for the Wizards, we know they need an athletic big man, and sitting at pick No. 15, they may just get one, although he brings a lot of mystery. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT