Lest anyone get the impression that all he does is defend, Malcolm Lee was happy to provide some striking counterpoints.
Twenty-five, to be exact.
There were layups, three-pointers and even a dunk thrown in for good measure Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion as UCLA's designated stopper scored a season-high 25 points during the Bruins' 64-54 victory over Oregon.
The junior guard was particularly offensive late in the game, scoring 10 points during a 14-4 Bruins run that transformed a two-point lead into a double-digit advantage with little more than a minute to play.
"I just have to credit my teammates," said Lee, who made 10 of 19 shots. "I was just creeping up behind the defense and my teammates were finding me, that's all."
UCLA shook off foul trouble on freshman center Joshua Smith in the final 9 1/2 minutes with a three-guard lineup that helped the Bruins (17-7 overall, 8-3 Pacific 10 Conference) solidify their hold on second place in the Pac-10 with their eighth victory in their last nine games.
"We got a lot of layups in the second half attacking their press," said UCLA Coach Ben Howland, whose team shot 53.6% and outrebounded the Ducks by 13 in the second half.
There was also a return to form by the Bruins' Reeves Nelson, who had been held scoreless while fouling out last month in the teams' first meeting.
The sophomore forward had nine points, nine rebounds and one chippy exchange with Jay-R Strowbridge with 22 seconds left after the Oregon guard knocked over Nelson with a hard foul as he drove toward the basket.
Nelson quickly rose and took a step toward Strowbridge before UCLA players and officials stepped in to keep the peace. Howland also came onto the court and was prepared to intervene if necessary.
"I didn't want Reeves to react to it," Howland said. "I was going to tackle Reeves because we couldn't afford to lose anybody for a game" from a suspension.
Nelson and Strowbridge exchanged a mini-hug in the handshake line after the game, Nelson saying afterward that he didn't even know who fouled him.
"I just know I got hacked pretty hard and I hurt my ankle a little bit," Nelson said, "so I was upset."
Oregon forward Joevan Catron, who had missed the teams' first meeting with a strained calf, scored 15 points but made only five of 13 shots. The Ducks (12-12, 5-7) shot only 34.6% in the second half, watching their three-point halftime lead dissolve amid a flurry of bricks.
The Bruins were leading by only two points with fewer than seven minutes left when Nelson fed Lee with a bounce pass for a layup. UCLA guard Lazeric Jones then found Nelson inside for another easy basket and Lee made a pair of free throws to increase the Bruins' advantage to 54-46 with 4:25 to go.
Jones and guard Jerime Anderson had 10 points apiece for UCLA, which also got five points, 13 rebounds and six assists from Tyler Honeycutt.
Anderson said Oregon's zone didn't bother the Bruins as much in the second half.
"It was opening up," he said, "and we were able to get Malcolm and Reeves some wide-open layups."
Smith had five points and three rebounds but did not play in the final 9:22 after picking up his fourth foul. It turned out the Bruins would not need him with their guard-heavy lineup pulling through.