Tar Heels in NBA: Heartbreaking finish in Bulls loss in good bounce-back game for White; Ellington’s amazing 3-point-shooting streak ends

By R.L. Bynum

Coming off one of his worst games of the season, Coby White enjoyed one of his best nights of the season only to have it end in heartbreak.

White collected 20 points, six assists and only one turnover. His two free throws with 11.5 seconds left gave the Chicago Bulls a five-point advantage over the Portland Trail Blazers.

But Damian Lillard made a 37-foot 3-pointer with 8.9 seconds left and, after the Blazers won a jump ball, a 26-foot, off-balance 3-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer to give Portland a 123–122 victory.

Lillard scored 44 points and joined Michael Jordan, Gilbert Arenas and Larry Bird as the only players in NBA history to twice score at least 40 points with a buzzer-beating game-winner. Julius Erving did this twice in the ABA.

It was Chicago’s first game since White scored five points and had a season-low -0.3 game score in a 119–103 Monday loss to Boston.

Saturday’s game score of 18.0 was second only to the 31.3 he put up in his 36-point effort in 128–125 road loss Jan. 6 to the Sacramento Kings. Saturday’s assist-to-turnover ratio of 6 to 1 was also the second-best this season behind the 7 to 0 in that Kings game.

White’s 2018–19 UNC teammate Nassir Little didn’t play in the fourth quarter, but got his first start of the season and the sixth start of his career for Portland.

Little, who never started a game for the Tar Heels, was in the Blazers’ lineup in place of Derrick Jones Jr., who missed the game with a sprained left foot. In 14 minutes (seven short of his season-high), Little made his only shot attempt — a 3-pointer — and finished with five points, three rebounds, a steal and a season-high 7.4 game score.

Harrison Barnes’ Sacramento Kings also lost a one-point game. The Kings’ Richaun Holmes missed a potential game-winning fadeaway jumper in the final seconds and the Kings fell at Miami 105–104.

Barnes scored all 11 of his points in the first half, then missed his only second-half shot. He added three rebounds and two assists as Sacramento finished a three-game set in Florida 2–1, beating Orlando and Toronto.

Wayne Ellington’s amazing streak of 3-point shooting came to a crashing halt against one of the best 3-point shooters in the league in the Detroit Pistons’ 118–91 loss at Golden State.

While Stephen Curry made 6 of 8 3-point attempts and scored 28 points, Ellington was scoreless in nearly 18 minutes and missed all five 3-point attempts with a season-low -1.9 game score.

You think Ellington was on the top of the Warriors’ scouting report before the game?

It was Ellington’s first game this season with at least a minute of action that he went without a 3-pointer. In the previous eight games, he had made 40 of 67 3-point attempts and he had at least four 3-pointers in a franchise-record seven consecutive games.  

Cameron Johnson contributed six points and four rebounds in the Phoenix Suns’ 111–104 road win over the Dallas Mavericks. Johnson had a 3-pointer and two rebounds in the fourth quarter, when Chris Paul scored 16 of his team-high 29 points.

How Tar Heels did Saturday, what’s ahead

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
No game
Season statistics
— 20 games, 10.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 35.5FG%, 31.9%3P, 86.0FT
Up next — Sunday vs. Toronto in Tampa, 7 p.m.; Tuesday vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
104 loss at Miami — Started, 37 minutes, 11 points, 4–8 FG, 2–4 3FG, 1–1 FT, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, +1, 9.3 game score
Season statistics — 19 games, 16.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 50.1FG%, 41.7%3P, 85.5FT%
Up next — Monday at New Orleans, 8 p.m.; Wednesday vs. Boston, 10 p.m.
Tony Bradley, Philadelphia Sixers center/forward
No game
Season statistics
— 7 games, 5.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist, 50.0 FG%, 0–0 3FG, 3–5 FT
Up next —
Sunday at Indiana, 7 p.m.; Wednesday at Charlotte, 7 p.m., FSS
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics —
15 games, 8.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 38.5FG%, 34.8%3P, 70.0FT%
Up next — Sunday vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 1 p.m.; Monday at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
No game
Season statistics — 15 games, 2.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 40.0G%, 0–0 3FG, 83.3FT%
Up next — Sunday vs. Cleveland, 8 p.m.; Monday at Cleveland, 8 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
118–91 loss at Golden State — 18 minutes, 0 points, 0–6 FG, 0–5 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, -25, -1.9 game score
Season statistics — 15 games, 12.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 51.6FG%, 50.5 3P%, 72.7FT%
Up next — Monday at Denver, 9 p.m.; Tuesday at Utah, 10 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
No game
Season statistics — 20 games, 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 38.2FG%, 37.3%3P 72.7FT%
Up next —
Sunday at Indiana, 7 p.m.; Wednesday at Charlotte, 7 p.m., FSS
Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward
No game
Season statistics —
8 games, 4.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 41.2FG%, 16.7%3P, 80.0FT%
Up next — Monday vs. Houston, 8 p.m.; Wednesday at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
111–105 win at Dallas —
Started, 34 minutes, 6 points, 1–4 FG, 1–1 3FG, 3–3 FT, 4 rebounds, -5, 4.0 game score
Season statistics —
18 games, 11.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 44.2FG%, 36.8%3P, 85.0FT%
Up next — Monday at Dallas, 8:30 p.m., NBATV; Wednesday at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
123–122 win at Chicago
Started; 14 minutes, 5 points, 1–1 FG, 1–1 3FG, 2–2FT, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, +6, 7.4 game score
Season statistics —
8 games, 1.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1 assist, 36.4%FG, 2–5 3FG, 5–6 FT
Up next — Monday at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.; Tuesday at Washington, 8 p.m.
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics — 7 games, 2 points, 1–6 FG, 0–5 3FG, 1 rebound
Up next — Sunday vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 1 p.m.; Monday at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
123–122 loss vs. Portland — Started; 34 minutes, 20 points, 6–11 FG, 3–6 3FG, 5–5 FT, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 turnover, -17, 18.0 game score
Season statistics —
18 games, 15.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 40.7FG%, 36.5%3P, 86.0 FT
Up next — Monday vs. New York, 8 p.m.; Wednesday vs. New York, 8 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

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