Rivalry Week continued on Thursday night with a massive doubleheader, capped off by a stellar top-10 matchup from the Pac-12. No. 10 UCLA was able to overcome a 19-point first-half deficit to stun No. 5 Oregon with an 82-79 victory. The Bruins took their first lead of the game with four minutes left on an Aaron Holiday three-pointer, as they improved to 9-3 in conference play. Holiday and Lonzo Ball had 15 points apiece, leading their team into a third-place tie with California in the standings. Ball added 11 rebounds for the double-double, helping the Bruins outscore the Ducks by 12 in the second half. Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey scored 19 points each for Oregon, who is now 10-2 in the Pac-12, good for second place. Oregon had as large as a 15-point lead after halftime, but could not hold off their rivals to the end. Oregon has a tough road test against USC on Saturday, while UCLA hosts Oregon State on Sunday.
Controversial Allen Lifts Duke Past UNC
The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels added to their historically close rivalry on Thursday as well, as the 18th-ranked Blue Devils upset No. 8 UNC, 86-78, at home. Grayson Allen had 25 points for Duke, who is now just 7-4 in the tough ACC. Luke Kennard added 20 points of his own, while freshman Jayson Tatum scored all 19 of his points after halftime. Tatum also added nine rebounds for his team, which has now won four in a row. The Tar Heels struggles from the charity strike, going 10-of-18, including 8-of-15 in the second half. They are now 9-3 in conference play, dropping in to a first-place tie with Florida State. Neither team led by more than eight points in yet another close contest, which featured 17 lead changes and nine ties, but ended in the Blue Devils' favor.
Westbrook' Triple-Double Leads OKC Past Cavs
Russell Westbrook probably didn't care if the rumors were true about the Cleveland Cavaliers resting their stars for Thursday's game in OKC. They didn't, but the Thunder star still went off for his 26th triple-double in the Thunder's 118-103 win over the Cavs. Westbrook had 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists, as the Thunder handed Cleveland their first loss in the final game of a four-game road trip. Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love all played, finishing with 28, 18, and 15 points respectively. They were coming off impressive road wins over New York, Indiana, and Washington before Thursday's loss. With the Celtics' late win in Portland, the Cavs are now just 2.5 games ahead of Boston for first in the East at 36-16. They are also just three games over .500 at 14-11 away from Cleveland, Ohio. Victor Oladipo had 23 points, while Steven Adams contributed 20 points and 13 rebounds in the impressive victory. OKC now turns their sights to Saturday night, and the return of Kevin Durant to Oklahoma City.