Tar Heels in NBA: Anthony scores 16, throws down one-handed, highlight-reel dunk follow; Ellington hits cold shooting streak; Little out with knee strain

By R.L. Bynum

Cole Anthony scored 16 points for the second consecutive game but, unfortunately for the Orlando Magic, it was in another loss.

His play that will get the most attention during the 123–108 setback against Toronto came in the third quarter when he rebounded a miss with one hand and slammed in a follow shot in one pinwheel motion. ESPN’s “SportsCenter” ranked it No. 6 on its Top 10 plays segment.

It was a rough night Orlando trying to guard Fred VanVleet, who scored a Raptors franchise-record 54 points with a career-high 11 3-pointers. Anthony got that challenging duty some of the night.

Anthony tied his season-high with seven rebounds (which he’s done four times) but had two assists against four turnovers. That was the first time in the last 10 games that he’s had more turnovers than assists.

The big picture, though, is that Orlando, without an adequate point guard backup, has lost four consecutive games and six of the last seven. Anthony, of course, was the backup before Markelle Fultz suffered a season-ending ACL tear.

It was more challenging against Toronto with Aaron Gordon, who leads the team in assists per game, out with a sprained ankle. Michael Carter-Williams is out with a hip injury and Jordan Bone hasn’t been that effective when Anthony has been on the bench.

Wayne Ellington had struggled with his shot in the last two games after his streak of at least four 3-pointers in a game ended at seven. He missed both 3-point attempts during the Detroit Pistons’ 117–105 loss at Utah and scored three points.

In the last two games, both losses, Ellington is 1 of 13 from the floor and 0 of 7 from 3-point range. His two worst game scores of the season have been in the last two games: -1.9 Saturday at Golden State and -1.6 Tuesday at Utah.

After scoring a career-high 30 points Monday at Milwaukee, Nassir Little sat out the Portland Trail Blazers’ 132–121 win Tuesday in Washington with a left knee strain. Little hurt his knee late in the Bucks game when he went to the basket and fell along the baseline.

There are a couple of chances to see UNC alums on television tonight. Danny Green, Tony Bradley and the Philadelphia 76ers are at Charlotte at 7 p.m. in a game on FSS and Cameron Johnson’s Phoenix Suns are on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. against New Orleans.

How Tar Heels did Tuesday, what’s ahead

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
123–108 loss vs. Toronto —
Started; 31 minutes, 16 points, 7–12 FG, 1–3 3FG, 1–1 FT, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, -19
Season statistics
— 21 games, 10.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 36.2FG%, 31.9%3P, 85.7FT
Up next — Friday vs. Chicago, 7 p.m.; Saturday vs. Chicago, 7 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
No game
Season statistics — 20 games, 16.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 50.4FG%, 43.5%3P, 86.0FT%
Up next — Wednesday vs. Boston, 10 p.m.; Saturday vs. Denver, 5 p.m., NBATV
Tony Bradley, Philadelphia Sixers center/forward
No game
Season statistics
— 8 games, 4.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist, 50.0 FG%, 0–0 3FG, 3–5 FT
Up next —
Wednesday at Charlotte, 7 p.m., FSS; Thursday vs. Portland, 8 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics —
17 games, 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 37.8FG%, 34.2%3P, 75.0FT%
Up next — Wednesday at Chicago, 8 p.m.; Saturday vs. Portland, 1 p.m.
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
No game
Season statistics — 17 games, 2.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 40.5G%, 0–0 3FG, 87.4FT%
Up next — Wednesday at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.; Friday at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
117–105 loss at Utah — Started; 18 minutes, 3 points, 1–7 FG, 0–2 3FG, 1–1 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, -20, -1.6 game score
Season statistics — 15 games, 12.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 51.6FG%, 50.5 3P%, 72.7FT%
Up next — Friday at Phoenix, 9 p.m.; Saturday at Los Angeles Lakers, 10 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
No game
Season statistics — 21 games, 8.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 38.2FG%, 36.2%3P 72.7FT%
Up next —
Wednesday at Charlotte, 7 p.m., FSS; Thursday vs. Portland, 8 p.m.
Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward
No game
Season statistics —
9 games, 5.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 42.5FG%, 21.7%3P, 83.3FT%
Up next — Wednesday at Houston, 8 p.m.; Friday vs. Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
No game
Season statistics —
19 games, 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 43.9FG%, 36.7%3P, 86.4FT%
Up next — Wednesday at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m., ESPN; Friday vs. Detroit, 9 p.m.
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
132–121 win at Washington —
Missed game with a left knee strain
Season statistics —
9 games, 5.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2 assists, 51.7%FG, 58.3%3P, 88.9FG%
Up next — Thursday at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.; Saturday at New York, 1 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 — Wednesday at Chicago, 8 p.m.; Saturday vs. Portland, 1 p.m.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
No game
Season statistics —
19 games, 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 40.7FG%, 36.1%3P, 86.7 FT
Up next — Wednesday vs. New York, 8 p.m.; Friday at Orlando, 7 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

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