Apparently, Jorge Gutierrez was angry about being snubbed for tonight's NBA All-Star Game. He sure played like he belonged to be there.
He split double-teams and traps, taking it to the hole with impunity against bewildered UCLA Bruins defenders. He faked a drive, stopped, and spun back 180 degrees for a fade away swish. He knocked in almost all his free throws. He dished underneath to Markhuri Sanders-Frison and Harper Kamp for some big lay-ins. He ripped the ball right out of the grasp of Tyler Honeycutt, got knocked off balance by Reeves Nelson, and STILL drove through two defenders for a game-tying layup in overtime. Then he drove right and spun up another layup running away from the basket for the lead. Then another layup. He fouled out Josh Smith. He crossed up UCLA's defense on the final play to dish to Brandon Smith for the wide-open game winning three. He got injured so many times, sources I've never met confirmed the Department of Defense secretly handed Jorge a Purple Heart after tonight's game. 34 points, plus big free throws and assists and rebounds and who cares what the numbers are? Stats can't define a performance like that.
The rest of the team seemed to be playing the way Jorge usually plays. Ugly offense for so much of the game, so many turnovers, yet a lot of hustle shown in the offensive rebounding department (second chance points). Sanders-Frison and Kamp (and even Richard Solomon) cleaned up. Allen Crabbe gutted out big minutes, keeping Malcolm Lee off of Gutierrez. Smith nailed his big triples. And Cal finally beat UCLA at home.
But it's all thanks to Jorge. Remember the Jorge Game forever. I always will.