By R.L. Bynum

Cole Anthony won his first NBA matchup with Coby White in a clash of Carolina’s previous two starting point guards Friday but White gets a chance to avenge that result Saturday night.

Anthony’s two free throws with 16.4 seconds left helped put away the Orlando Magic’s 123–119 home win over the Chicago Bulls as he outscored White 17–16.

It was Anthony’s best all-around game of the season with a season-high 16.3 game score. Bigger for Orlando, the win snapped a four-game losing streak and was its first victory since beating Charlotte on Jan. 25.

“For sure a little friendly rivalry,” Anthony said when asked about the matchup with White after the game. “Look, I was going at him, he’s going to go at me. It was a little back and forth we had but that’s my guy right there. He’s a good dude and definitely a helluva player. It was cool to see another UNC dude out there, especially one I know personally. So, it was fun.”

They were teammates on the U.S. team at the U18 Americas Championships in June 2018. Both made the all-tournament team in leading the Americans to the gold medal.

Via @FoxSportsMagic

Anthony collected 17 points, four 3-pointers, nine assists, four rebounds, two steals and four turnovers. It was the best assist game since high school for Anthony, who had eight of his assists in the first half. His best previous total was eight Jan. 16 at Brooklyn and Nov. 20, 2019, for Carolina against Elon.

Anthony has already played more games for Orlando (23) than he did for Carolina (22). In 22 games for Carolina, Anthony had 407 points, 49 3-pointers and 88 assists. In his first 23 games for the Magic, he has 260 points, 26 3-pointers and 89 assists.

Anthony said that playing extended minutes in the last few games isn’t as bad as the practices last season in Chapel Hill.

“Honestly, last year in college, I think was way worse with the practices,” Anthony said in a press availability Friday before the game. “We might not play as many games, but those two-, three-hour practices, I feel, made my body feel worse than these games. This really hasn’t been that bad.”

He’s played at least 30 minutes in the last eight games after getting that much playing time in only three of the first 15 games.

On a 1 to 10 scale, he gave his performance so far a 3.5 or 4.

“I’m definitely learning out there and I think I’m getting more comfortable every single game,” he said. “In terms of what I’d like to improve on: I’d like to become a better defender, be a better teammate, score the ball more efficiently and really just improve on everything.”

The two Tar Heels guarded each other a lot in the game, and Anthony drew a blocking foul on White in the second quarter on a drive. Anthony missed the free-throw attempt on a 3-point play opportunity.

White contributed 16 points, a season-high-tying four 3-pointers, three assists, one block and one turnover. His 3-pointer tied the game at 112 with 2:03 left.

Anthony drew a blocking foul on White in the second quarter on a drive but couldn’t complete the three-point play.

With only eight players available for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Justin Jackson played a season-high 30 minutes in its 106–103 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He sank a 3-pointer but missed a potential game-tying 3-point attempt with 1:12 left and finished with seven points, four rebounds and two assists.

After nine consecutive starts for the Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson came off the bench with Frank Kaminsky taking his place in the starting lineup in their 109–92 home win over the Detroit Pistons.

Johnson collected 14 points, six rebounds and three assists in 20 minutes for a 12.7 game score, tied for his fourth-best this season.

Detroit’s Wayne Ellington missed the game with a calf strain.

Nassir Little missed his second consecutive game Thursday for Portland since his big 30-point game on Monday and is expected to also miss Saturday’s game at New York with a left knee injury.

How Tar Heels did Thursday & Friday, what’s ahead

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
123
119 Friday win vs. Chicago — Started; 33 minutes, 17 points, 6–10 FG, 2–3 3FG, 3–5 FT, 4 rebounds 9 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers, +16, 16.3 game score
Season statistics
— 23 games, 11.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 38.2FG%, 33.3%3P, 83.6FT
Up next — Saturday vs. Chicago, 7 p.m.; Tuesday at Portland, 10 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
No game
Season statistics — 21 games, 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 49.8FG%, 41.3%3P, 86.5FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. Denver, 5 p.m., NBATV; Sunday at Los Angeles Clippers, 3 p.m.
Tony Bradley, Philadelphia Sixers center/forward
121–105 Thursday loss vs. Portland —
4 minutes, 2 points, 1–1 FG, +11, 1.7 game score
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 —
Saturday vs. Brooklyn, 8 p.m.; Tuesday at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics —
18 games, 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 38.7FG%, 34.2%3P, 75.0FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. Portland, 1 p.m.; Sunday vs. Miami, 1 p.m.
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
106–103 Friday win at Oklahoma City — Didn’t play
Season statistics — 17 games, 2.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 40.5G%, 0–0 3FG, 87.4FT%
Up next — Saturday at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.; Monday at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
109–92 Friday loss at Phoenix — Missed game with a calf strain
Season statistics —
15 games, 12.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 51.6FG%, 50.5 3P%, 72.7FT%
Up next — Saturday at Los Angeles Lakers, 10 p.m.; Tuesday vs. Brooklyn, 7 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
121–105 Thursday loss vs. Portland —
Started, 27 minutes, 3 points, 1–5 FG, 1–5 3FG, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, -17, 1.5 game score
Season statistics — 22 games, 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 39.6FG%, 37.2%3P 66.7FT%
Up next —
Saturday vs. Brooklyn, 8 p.m.; Tuesday at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward
106–103
Friday loss vs. Minnesota — 30 minutes, 7 points, 3–9 FG, 1–4 3FG, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, -12, 4.1 game score
Season statistics —
11 games, 5.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 assist, 37.8FG%, 18.8%3P, 83.3FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. Minnesota, 8 p.m.; Monday at Los Angeles Lakers, 10 p.m.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
109–92 Friday win vs. Detroit —
20 minutes, 14 points, 6–10 FG, 1–3 3FG, 1–1 FT, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, +22, 12.7 game score
Season statistics —
21 games, 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.2FG%, 36.1%3P, 86.9FT%
Up next — Sunday vs. Boston, 2 p.m., NBATV; Monday vs. Cleveland, 9 p.m.
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
121–105 Thursday win at Philadelphia —
Missed game with a left knee injury and is also expected to miss Saturday’s game
Season statistics —
9 games, 5.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2 assists, 51.7%FG, 58.3%3P, 88.9FG%
Up next — Saturday at New York, 1 p.m.; Tuesday vs. Orlando, 10 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 — Saturday vs. Portland, 1 p.m.; Sunday vs. Miami, 1 p.m.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
123119 Friday loss at Orlando — Started; 34 minutes, 16 points, 6–17 FG, 4–9 3FG, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 turnovers, -15, 7.8 game score
Season statistics —
21 games, 15.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 39.9FG%, 36.0%3P, 85.7 FT
Up next — Saturday at Orlando, 7 p.m.; Monday vs. Washington, 8 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

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