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CALIFORNIA (15-5, 6-3) at UCLA (12-6, 7-2)Time--7:30....

CALIFORNIA (15-5, 6-3) at UCLA (12-6, 7-2)

Time--7:30. TV--fX. Radio--

XTRA (690), KIEV (870).

Five consecutive conference victories--the longest streak in the Pac-10--have lifted the Golden Bears into contention. Since UCLA beat Cal, 64-56, in a sloppy game at the Cow Palace on Jan. 11, the Bears have stepped up the defense (they lead the league in points yielded and field-goal defense) and gotten amazing production from Ed Gray, who has averaged 29.3 points in his last seven games. The Bruins have won 18 consecutive conference games at Pauley Pavilion since the Bears defeated them, 100-93, in January 1995. “I’ve told the team that February is defensive month,” UCLA interim Coach Steve Lavin said. “Early in the year, I thought offense was where we needed most of the work. . . . Now we need our defense to come back. I think it’s slipped a little the last week and a half.”

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