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Afflalo Injures Hip, Mata’s Nose Bloodied

Times Staff Writer

What would a UCLA story be without an injury report?

Incomplete, as has been the case most of the season.

Guard Arron Afflalo and center Lorenzo Mata are the latest to join an injury list that has been a dominant theme for this team.

Afflalo injured his left hip and a portion of his right side below the hip when he crashed to the floor after making a layup in the final two minutes of Saturday’s game against Arizona State at Wells Fargo Arena.

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Although Afflalo drew a foul on the play, he was unable to shoot the free throw because of the injury.

As the game clock wound down, Afflalo tried to stretch and jog behind the basket in order to persuade trainer Tony Spino to let him play.

But Spino wouldn’t, especially after Afflalo had trouble bending down at the scorer’s table while trying to make his case to return.

Although Afflalo, the team’s leading scorer, is expected to undergo tests today to determine the severity of the injury, he insisted after the game that he anticipate no lingering effects.

“I’ll be fine,” Afflalo said. “It’s sore, but I’ll just ice it.”

Mata wasn’t sure how his nose got cracked in the first half, but it was severe enough to cause so much blood to run on his jersey that he had to switch from his usual No. 14 to No. 44.

Returning with cotton balls up both nostrils, Mata said he was advised that he might have a slight fracture and should consider wearing a mask to protect his nose when he returns to the court. He was expected to undergo a further examination today.

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The Bruins were ecstatic over their 61-60 victory Saturday, but the mood was different in the Sun Devil locker room after the team lost in the final seconds for the second straight game to drop to 0-4 in conference play.

Said Arizona State forward Serge Angounou, “There were some people crying in there.”

UP NEXT

Thursday vs. Washington State, 7:30 p.m., Pauley Pavilion, FSN West 2 -- The Bruins return home for four games beginning with a team they have dominated, winning 24 of their last 25 against the Cougars.

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