Tar Heels in NBA: Bullock helps Knicks end skid; White goes scoreless but with no turnovers in big Bulls win

By R.L. Bynum

Reggie Bullock’s sore right hip is better and his return helped the New York Knicks roll over the Boston Celtics on Sunday to snap a five-game losing streak.

In the Knicks’ 105–75 romp, Bullock collected 11 points and seven rebounds and had a career-high plus/minus of +36. His previous high was +34 on March 31, 2019, when he scored 18 points for the Los Angeles Lakers in a win at New Orleans.

It was the eighth win over the Celtics by 30 points or more in franchise history and the first since a 102–70 win on Nov. 4, 1997. It was only the second such win in Boston, the first a 126–89 victory on Oct. 28, 1970.

His return to the lineup in the last two games has been a big boost on the defensive end for the Knicks.

“He’s a two-way player,’’ New York coach Tom Thibodeau said Friday. “The shooting component is critical. His defense also. It’s a big plus for us to get him back.’’

Bullock, who had an 8.0 game score, missed two games during the Knicks’ losing streak.

“I feel great now,’’ Bullock said on Friday. “I know my team. They need me out there. I’ve got to be willing to push through things. It’s a tough time for our team right now. [It helps] having another player, that’s an asset to the team to help fight.’’

Theo Pinson was scoreless with one missed 3-point attempt in four minutes, the most playing time he’s had in his six games. He hadn’t played in the previous three games and seven of the last eight games.

The good news for Coby White is that his Chicago Bulls overcame a triple-double from Luka Doncic to win at Dallas 117–101 and he only had one turnover. The bad news is that, for only the second time in White’s career, he didn’t score.

In 25 minutes, White missed all of a season-low five shots, two from 3-point range, with three rebounds, four assists and a steal. The five shots tied a career-low set when he scored five points in an Oct. 28, 2019, loss at New York and the -0.2 game score was a season-low. It was the second-fewest minutes for White this season.

In his only other scoreless game, Dec. 9, 2019, in a home loss to Toronto, he was 0 of 7, 0 of 5 from 3-points range in 30 minutes. White’s career-low at Carolina as four points in a Jan. 12, 2019, loss to Louisville.

The other surprising part is that the Bulls won with leading scorer Zach LaVine held to 10 points. Coach Billy Donovan gave LaVine more of the facilitating role, particularly in the second half, and LaVine finished with 10 assists.

“[Thaddeus Young] mentioned it to the guys after the game, he said Coby and Zach, you guys didn’t score but you played the game the right way,” Donovan said. “That really enhanced and helped us win because those guys are our players that require a lot of attention. So, it opens up things for other people. And when they can play, that this is going to help us.”

With Doncic’s 36-point, 16-rebound, 15-assist game, he passed Michael Jordan on the career list with his 29th career triple-double. Jordan now has the 15th-most triple-doubles and Doncic is tied with Grant Hill in 14th place.

Harrison Barnes was held to a season-low seven points in the Sacramento Kings’ 128–123 home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Barnes, who was 2 of 8 from the floor, had four assists and a season-low 3.1 game score. It was the fewest points for Barnes since being held to three points in an Aug. 13 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. His 41 minutes were the most since he played 42 minutes in the season opener.

One matchup of UNC alums — Philadelphia with Danny Green and Tony Bradley visiting Justin Jackson’s Oklahoma Thunder — was postponed.

There are three chances to watch televised games involving UNC alums on the MLK Day holiday:
* At noon, you can see Cole Anthony’s Orlando Magic play the Bullock, Pinson and the Knicks on NBATV.
* At 2:30 p.m., Wayne Ellington’s Detroit Pistons play at Atlanta on NBATV.
* At 5 p.m., Cameron Johnson’s Phoenix Suns visit Memphis on TNT.

How Tar Heels did Sunday and what’s ahead

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
No game
Season statistics — 13 games, 10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 33.3FG%, 20.5%3P, 88.2FT
Up next — Monday at New York, noon, NBATV; Wednesday at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
128–123 loss vs. New Orleans
— Started; 41 minutes, 7 points, 2–8 FG, 2–6 3FG, 1–1 FT, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 1 turnover, +8, 3.1 game score
Season statistics — 14 games, 16.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 49.1FG%, 40.0%3P, 81.5FT%
Up next — Wednesday at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m.; Friday vs. New York, 10 p.m.
Tony Bradley, Philadelphia Sixers center/forward
Game at Oklahoma City postponed
Season statistics — 5 games, 4.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist, 47.8 FG%, 0–0 3FG, 1–3 FT
Up next —
Wednesday vs. Boston, 7 p.m., ESPN; Friday vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
105–75 win at Boston
— Started; 28 minutes, 11 points, 4–9 FG, 3–8 3FG, 0–0 FT, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, +36, 8.0 game score
Season statistics — 12 games, 8.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 39.0FG%, 32.7%3P, 57.1FT%
Up next —Monday vs. Orlando, noon, NBATV; Thursday at Golden State, 10 p.m.
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
No game
Season statistics — 7 games, 1.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist, 27.8FG%, 0–0 3FG, 75.0FT%
Up next — Monday at Atlanta, 2:30 p.m., NBATV; Wednesday vs. Orlando, 8 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
No game
Season statistics — 7 games, 8.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.4 of an assist, 47.7FG%, 40.6 3P%, 1–1 FT
Up next — Monday at Miami, 3 p.m.; Wednesday at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers guard
Game at Oklahoma City postponed
Season statistics — 14 games, 9.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 37.4FG%, 37.0%3P 72.7FT%
Up next —
Wednesday vs. Boston, 7 p.m., ESPN; Friday vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward
Game vs. Philadelphia postponed
Season statistics — 4 games, 5.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist, 36.8FG%, 8.3%3P, 83.3FT%
Up next — Tuesday at Denver, 9 p.m.; Friday at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns forward
No game
Season statistics — 11 games, 12.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 47.1FG%, 38.4%3P, 85.7FT%
Up next — Monday at Memphis, 5 p.m., TNT; Wednesday at Houston, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
No game
Season statistics — 3 games, 1.7 points, 1.0 rebound, 0 assists, 2–3 FG, 1–1 3FG, no FTA
Up next — Monday vs. San Antonio, 3 p.m.; Wednesday vs. Memphis, 10 p.m.
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
105–75 win at Boston
— 4 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–1 3FG, -6, -1.5 game score
Season statistics — 6 games, 0 points, 0–5 FG, 0–5 3FG, 1 rebound
Up next —Monday vs. Orlando, noon, NBATV; Thursday at Golden State, 10 p.m.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
117–101 win at Dallas — Started; 25 minutes, 0 points, 0–5 FG, 0–2 3FG, 0–0 FT, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, -3, -0.2 game score
Season statistics — 13 games, 16.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 40.7FG%, 35.65%3P, 84.4 FT
Up next — Monday vs. Houston, 8 p.m.; Friday at Charlotte, 7 p.m., FSS

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

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