Jaylen Brown jam, Ivan Rabb block highlight bounce-back win for Cal

Jaylen Brown turned an ASU turnover into a dunk to open the game. (Fox Sports 1)

Recently it has been nothing but bad news for Cal. The Bears went on a three-game road trip after beating Utah at home and returned home with three straight losses. On top of that, senior Tyrone Wallace was ruled out for 4-6 weeks with a broken hand earlier this week.

The Bears have two big games this weekend at Haas Pavilion, starting with Thursday’s game against Arizona State. Jaylen Brown got the bounce-back effort to a great start by turning an ASU turnover into a fast-break slam for the first points of the game.

While the Bears proceeded to win 75-70, the rest of the game did not go as easily for Cuonzo Martin’s team. Brown fouled out in the game’s final minutes with 17 points and the offense, without Wallace and Brown on the floor, went static for long stretches in the second half. The Sun Devils never led, but they tied the game twice before some poor late-game execution gave the game away.

While Brown was sidelined with foul trouble, fellow freshman Ivan Rabb was a commanding presence inside. He finished as the Bears’ leading scorer with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Rabb also had three blocks, one of them coming at a point where it was a one-point game in the second half.

Cal has to be concerned with some of the execution in the second half with Arizona coming to town Saturday, but at least the Bears ended the three-game skid and got their first win in 18 days. If there is any upside to the short turnaround, it’s that the Wildcats also played on Thursday night and tipped off two hours later, at Stanford.

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