- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Steve Alford knows just how to get Tony Parker seeing red.

The UCLA coach needled Parker when he showed up in Alford’s office on Thursday morning wearing a red T-shirt and jeans. Alford doesn’t like the color.

“I beat him up a little bit just to make him mad,” Alford said. “I made fun of his outfit a lot and it makes him mad when you make fun of his garb.”

The motivational ploy paid off when Parker scored a career-high 22 points to help UCLA cruise past Stanford 91-74, ending the Cardinal’s three-game winning streak.

Parker insisted he’s one of best-dressed players on the team, and got in his own dig about Alford.

“He’s coming from Indiana, the fashion world is a little slow there,” the sophomore from Atlanta joked. “Red is my favorite color. I think it brings out the beauty in my eyes.”

UCLA used a big first-half run in bouncing back from a road loss at Utah last weekend.

The Bruins (15-4, 4-2 Pac-12) have won nine of their last 11 against Stanford, including a sweep last season. Jordan Adams added 19 points, Kyle Anderson had 13 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists, and Norman Powell had 13 points.

“It was just another typical Kyle game,” Alford said. “He’s very active and he did a good job of running the show and making sure we got into things.”

Stanford (12-6, 3-3) was led by Dwight Powell with 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Josh Huestis had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Chasson Randle came in averaging 19.5 points, but was held to 14 points on 3 of 16 shooting. The Cardinal has lost nine straight at Pauley Pavilion dating to January 2005.

“We didn’t execute as well as we have been and it’s really disappointing,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “Especially our defensive execution in the paint, which we have been good at all year but not tonight.”

The teams were nearly even over the game’s first nine minutes after Stanford started with three turnovers and two missed shots.

John Gage’s 3-pointer gave Stanford its last lead, 23-21, lead before UCLA launched a 21-8 run that propelled the Bruins to a 42-31 halftime lead.

“When you are down to a good team like that, you really have to push hard because they are not going to let you back into the game,” Powell said. “We have to take lessons from this game and move on.”

Six different players scored, with Zach LaVine and Adams hitting 3-pointers and Anderson dunking off LaVine’s missed jumper to close out the spurt. UCLA shot 51 percent in the half, while Stanford shot 36 percent and committed 11 of its season-high 19 turnovers. The Bruins had a season-low six turnovers.

UCLA’s run in the first half really hurt us,” Randle said. “It was the turnovers and then we didn’t get stops defensively. That’s what happens when teams go on a run. I started out a little slow because UCLA did a good job making sure they knew where I was at all times.”

Parker said he watched videos of his two favorite NBA players - former UCLA star Kevin Love and Zach Randolph - and noticed both played mostly around the arc.

“That’s what we got to have out of Tony,” Alford said. “He played 28 minutes. Twenty-six of the 28 is the effort we’ve got to have. He battled at the defensive end.”

The Cardinal got no closer than 10 points in the second half. LaVine’s 3-pointer pushed UCLA’s lead to 55-39, and the freshman finished with 10 points. Although the teams traded baskets for much of the half, Stanford couldn’t get any kind of scoring run going. A 3-pointer by Adams extended UCLA’s lead to 75-68, capping a 7-0 run.

The Bruins scored consecutive baskets within seven seconds to end the game. Bryce Alford made a layup and Huestis had the ball stolen by LaVine, who scored a layup.

The Bruins topped their season averages in shooting and scoring, hitting 52 percent.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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