Tar Heels in NBA: White’s point guard development shows in win; Barnes hits 21

By R.L. Bynum

Back in his home state Friday night, Coby White played well with 18 points in the Chicago Bulls’ 123–110 win after splitting a pair of one-point games in Charlotte last season.

With one of his best overall games of the season, he’s showing signs of developing the point guard skills first-year Coach Billy Donovan demands of him.

“I thought he was really good tonight,” said Donovan, who has been challenging White all season to be a distributor who creates good shots for everybody on the court and doesn’t always look for his shot first. “He made some great plays when he got it in the middle of the lane against their zone, and he kicked the ball out and generated some shots for some guys. I thought he really worked hard on the defensive end of the floor.”

White had his second-best assist-to-turnover ratio of the season with eight assists (five in the first quarter) and two turnovers and added two steals as the Bulls won their third consecutive game.

“I thought he played a really good floor game,” Donovan said. “He can’t just be about missing or making shots because he had some great drives and great finishes and got to the free-throw line even though his jump shot wasn’t falling. I thought he had a real good mixture tonight.”

White has struggled with his shot of late. Although he was 6 of 15 from the floor and 3 of 8 from 3-point range Friday, he combined for 4 of 17 and 2 of 9 in the previous two games.

“I feel like a lot of my shots are on point, on target, they’re just not falling,” White said. “I’ve just got to keep grinding, man. There are going to be ups and downs. That’s nothing new. I’ve just got to stay confident and stay positive. I think that’s the biggest thing for me — to stay strong mentally. I know for sure everything will work itself out. The biggest thing is we’re winning.”

White, whose 14.5 game score was his fourth-best this season, said that Donovan never sugarcoats the feedback and that’s the way he likes it.

“He keeps it real. He tells you the truth,” White said. “The other day he called me out in film. It doesn’t matter where you are, he’s going to be honest with you and I think everybody on the team respects that.”

This approach from a coach wasn’t anything new for White, who got plenty of feedback during his season playing for Coach Roy Williams at Carolina.

“My best coaches are the ones who get on you the most, like Coach Williams challenged me every day at UNC,” White said. “Coach is challenging me now every day. So, it didn’t really catch me by surprise. I want to be a good player. I want to be a great player in this league and he knows that. So, he challenges me every day for me to reach my goal.”

White moved to 2–1 as a pro in North Carolina. Last season, he had 17 points in a 126–125 Oct. 23 loss and 28 points in a 116–115 Nov. 23 victory.

After a couple of games scoring fewer than five points, Harrison Barnes rebounded with a 21-point, eight-rebound, seven-assist effort in the Sacramento Kings’ 103–94 home win over the New York Knicks. The 21.4 game score was his second-best this season.

It was quite the opposite in that game for Reggie Bullock. After three consecutive double-digit scoring games during the Knicks’ three-game winning streak, he missed all three shots and was scoreless with a season-low-tying -1.0 game score. It was his first scoreless game of the season.

For the third consecutive game, Theo Pinson didn’t play for New York.

Wayne Ellington continues to be on a tear for Detroit, although it was in a tough 103–102 home loss to Houston that was the Pistons’ third consecutive defeat. He scored 18 points on six 3-pointers, and his best three scoring games have come in the last three. He scored 24 in Monday’s loss at Miami and 16 in Wednesday’s loss at Miami. Friday’s game score of 12.8 was his third-best of the season.

One game after Cole Anthony’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the Orlando Magic a win at Minnesota when his team was down by two, he was throwing the ball inbounds with 2.8 seconds left instead of shooting it in the same situation. Evan Fornier missed a 3-point attempt and the Magic lost 120–118 in overtime at Indiana.

Anthony collected nine points, five rebounds, two assists, and one turnover.

Danny Green didn’t put up big numbers (five points on 2 of 7 shooting with three rebounds), but his Philadelphia 76ers completed a sweep of two home games with the Boston Celtics. The 122–110 victory gave the 11–5 Sixers a 1½-game lead over Milwaukee atop the Eastern Conference.

Tony Bradley didn’t get into either game with Boston.

Cameron Johnson started for the third consecutive game for the Phoenix Suns, but scored a season-low five points in their 130–126 overtime home loss to Denver on 2 of 7 shooting.

How Tar Heels did Friday, what’s ahead

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
120–118 OT loss at Indiana —
Started; 36 minutes, 9 points, 3–7 FG, 1–1 3FG, 2–2 FT, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, -12, 8.5 game score
Season statistics — 16 games, 10.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 34.1FG%, 28.3%3P, 88.9FT
Up next — Sunday vs. Charlotte, 6 p.m., FSS; Monday vs. Charlotte, 7 p.m., FSS
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
103–94 win vs. New York —
Started; 35 minutes, 21 points, 5–13 FG, 2–6 3FG, 9–9 FT, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, +14, 21.4 game score
Season statistics — 16 games, 15.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 47.8FG%, 39.0%3P, 83.8FT%
Up next — Sunday at Memphis, 8 p.m.; Wednesday at Orlando, 7 p.m.
Tony Bradley, Philadelphia Sixers center/forward
122–110 win vs. Boston —
Didn’t play
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 —
Saturday at Detroit, 7 p.m.; Monday at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
103–94 loss at Sacramento
— Started; 21 minutes, 0 points, 0–3 FG, 0–1 3FG, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, -13, -1.0 game score
Season statistics — 15 games, 8.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 38.5FG%, 34.8%3P, 70.0FT%
Up next — Sunday at Portland, 8 p.m.; Tuesday at Utah, 9 p.m.
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
116–98 loss vs. Atlanta — 6 minutes, 0 points, 0–2 FG, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, -9, 1.7 game score
Season statistics — 11 games, 2.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist, 37.0FG%, 0–0 3FG, 83.3FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. New Orleans, 8 p.m.; Monday at Golden State, 10 p.m., NBATV
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
103–102 loss vs. Houston — Started; 33 minutes, 18 points, 6–11 FG, 6–10 3FG, 0–0 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, +16, 12.8 game score
Season statistics — 10 games, 11.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist, 50.0FG%, 48.4 3P%, 75.0FTG%
Up next — Saturday vs. Philadelphia, 8 p.m.; Monday vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
122–110 win vs. Boston —
Started; 25 minutes, 5 points, 2–7 FG, 1–6 3FG, 0–0 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, +6, 3.8 game score
Season statistics — 16 games, 9.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 37.7FG%, 36.8%3P 72.7FT%
Up next —
Saturday at Detroit, 7 p.m.; Monday at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward
120–106 loss at Los Angeles Clippers —
Didn’t play
Season statistics — 5 games, 5.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist, 45.5FG%, 21.4%3P, 75.0FT%
Up next — Sunday at Los Angeles Clippers, 4 p.m.; Monday at Portland, 10 p.m.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
130–126 overtime loss vs. Denver —
Started; 32 minutes, 5 points, 2–7 FG, 1–6 3FG, 0–0 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, -14
Season statistics —
14 games, 11.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 44.9FG%, 36.3%3P, 85.7FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. Denver, 9 p.m.; Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City, 9 p.m.
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
Game vs. Memphis postponed
Season statistics — 4 games, 1.5 points, 1.8 rebound, 0 assists, 2–5 FG, 1–2 3FG, 1–2 FT
Up next — Sunday vs. New York, 9 p.m.; Monday vs. Oklahoma City, 10 p.m.
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
103–94 loss at Sacramento
— Didn’t play.
Season statistics — 6 games, 0 points, 0–5 FG, 0–5 3FG, 1 rebound
Up next — Sunday at Portland, 8 p.m.; Tuesday at Utah, 9 p.m.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
123–110 win at Charlotte — Started; 33 minutes, 18 points, 6–15 FG, 3–8 3FG, 3–4 FT, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, +9, 14.5 game score
Season statistics —
15 games, 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 40.3FG%, 35.3%3P, 83.3 FT
Up next — Saturday vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 8 p.m.; Monday vs. Boston, 9 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

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