LOS ANGELES — LOS ANGELES-UCLA's two best players couldn't play.
The Bruins' top two scorers couldn't take shots. Their best rebounder wasn't around to rebound. Their best defender wasn't there to defend.
Oddly it didn't seem to matter that guards Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson were suspended hours before Thursday's game against Oregon.
Sure, the Bruins were handed the expected loss. The Ducks just had to extend themselves before getting an 87-83 double-overtime victory at Pauley Pavilion.
If the Bruins were looking for a defining moment as they look toward postseason play, this was pretty close.
UCLA rallied from a 14-point second deficit. David Wear sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the score, 71-71, at the end of regulation. Oregon's Jonathan Loyd missed a jumper at the end of overtime.
The Ducks finally outlasted the Bruins, making five of six free throws in the last 39 seconds of the second overtime.
Joseph Young had 26 points and Jason Calliste 18 to give the Ducks (19-8 overall, 7-8 in Pac-12 play) a much-needed victory.
Freshmen Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine plugged the holes in the UCLA lineup. Alford had 31 points and six assists. LaVine had 18 points and eight rebounds.
But it was Norman Powell who performed CPR.
The Ducks seemed to have the game well in hand, leading 51-37, midway through the second half.
Powell scored nine consecutive to cut a 12-point deficit to, 56-50 with five minutes left. The Bruins kept chasing, with Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine making big baskets.
It didn't seem to matter when Joseph Young sank two free throws with 1.3 seconds left. But someone neglected to cover UCLA's David Wear on the in-bounds play. He buried a three-pointer from 30 feet at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
The Bruins put the ball in Alford's hands with Anderson out. LaVine started in Adams' place. It was a patch-work backcourt rotation. Noah Allen logged 12 minutes, eight more than he had in the 14 previous conference games.
The offense was not in sync until late.
Oregon desperately needed the victory.
Oregon was considered a Pac-12 contender entering conference play. Then the Ducks lost eight of 10 games. They came into Thursday's game having won four of six, and were hoping to impress the NCAA selection committee.
UCLA (21-7 and 10-5) saw their slim Pac-12 title hopes take a hit. They trail Arizona by two games with three games remaining.
The Bruins will have Adams and Anderson back Sunday, when they play Oregon State.
Adams averages 17.2 points and Anderson 14.9. Anderson also leads the team in rebounds (8.6) and the conference assists (6.9).
UCLA officials were mum on what the two did to rate a suspension before a key game. Asked whether both violated the same rule or separate ones, a UCLA official declined to comment beyond what was released in the statement.
The two watched the game from the bench in street clothes for the game. What they saw was far from pretty.
That was underscored by one 33-second sequence, Alford turned the ball over. The Ducks' Elgin Cook missed a layup in transition. The Bruins knocked the rebound out of bounds. Oregon's Damyean Dotson missed a three-pointer.
And so it went.
The Ducks shot 39 percent in the first half, and they were the "hot" team. UCLA had eight field goals in the first half and shot 30 percent.
Calliste made four of five shots in the half, all three-pointers, and had 15 points. The rest of the Ducks were seven for 23.