Pro Bruin Rundown: Mace traded to KC NWSL, Bucks nab first championship title in 50 years
Former UCLA men’s basketball guard and current Milwaukee Bucks starting guard Jrue Holiday had a game-high 11 assists during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, helping the Bucks to their first NBA championship in 50 years. (Daily Bruin file photo)
By Taiyo Keilin
July 25, 2021 12:08 p.m.
This post was updated July 25 at 6:13 p.m.
UCLA Athletics may be taking a break for the summer, but professional sports are still in full swing. Each Sunday, Daily Bruin Sports will highlight a few standout performances of former UCLA greats from the past week as we count down the days until fall.
Men’s basketball: Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
For the fifth time in the past six seasons, a former Bruin got his hands on the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, capturing their first NBA title since 1971. Jrue Holiday – the Bucks’ starting shooting guard and a Bruin in the 2008-2009 season – scored 12 points and dished out a game-high 11 assists in the win.
The 11 dimes in the decisive Game 6 took Holiday’s finals average to 9.3 per game, more than an assist higher than the next closest player in the series and four assists per game better than any of his teammates. While he only shot 36.1% from the floor in the finals, Holiday averaged 16.7 points per game, good for third on his team, and led all players in steals as the lone player to average more than two steals per contest.
In his 12th year in the league, Holiday set career highs in field goal percentage, 50.3%, and 3-point shooting percentage, 39.2%, while leading the Bucks in assists and steals. He has three years left on his nearly $135 million contract with Milwaukee.
Baseball: James Kaprielian, Oakland Athletics
Making his first start since the All-Star break, a former first-rounder out of UCLA earned his fifth win of the season.
James Kaprielian – selected No. 16 overall by the New York Yankees in the 2015 MLB Draft – turned in the second-longest scoreless start of his young career Tuesday afternoon for the Oakland Athletics in their 6-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
Working in and out of trouble, Kaprielian tossed six innings of shutout baseball, giving up just five hits and two walks en route to the A’s two-game home sweep of their Southern California division rival. The 6-foot-3 right-hander fanned seven Halos – the fifth time he has reached that mark this season – to bring his season total to 73 strikeouts in 68 innings of work.
Kaprielian’s 2.65 ERA is second to none among qualified American League rookie starters and his 73 strikeouts rank seventh within the rookie class.
Women’s soccer: Hailie Mace, Kansas City NWSL
A four-year starter for the Bruins has a new home.
After beginning the 2021 NWSL season with the North Carolina Courage, Hailie Mace was traded to Kansas City NWSL on Thursday. The midfielder started two games for the third-place Courage in 10 appearances, scoring both of her goals in a 5-0 win over Racing Louisville in late May.
The 2021 season is the first Mace has spent in America since graduating from UCLA in 2018. She played a year in Australia and two more in Sweden before returning stateside with North Carolina.