By R.L. Bynum

In a battle of North Carolina native point guards in Houston on Tuesday night, Coby White got the best of John Wall even though he took some lumps in the process.

White, a Goldsboro native, scored 11 of his 24 points in the first quarter and collected four 3-pointers and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season as the Chicago Bulls earned a 120–100 victory over the Rockets. The 20.7 game score was his third-best of the season.

Wall, a Raleigh native in his first season in Houston, had 15 points and seven assists in the loss.

White was guarding a driving Wall in the third quarter when Wall’s elbow caught White in the mouth. That led to White crashing into the padding below the basket. White had to retreat to the dressing room for a few minutes.

“My nose was busted. Other than that, I was cool,” White said. “They just had to stop the bleeding.”

White’s role on the team is evolving and he is spending more time off the ball and less time at point guard. It was White’s second consecutive game with only two assists but his third game in a row with no turnovers. There were four Bulls with more assists, led by Zach LaVine’s six.

For much of the season in key possessions late in the game, LaVine has taken the point guard duties. Chicago coach Billy Donovan said White days as a full-time point guard aren’t over even though he is sharing distribution duties.

“It’s been more like just trying to find different ways to generate or put him in situations where maybe he’s not initiating offense, but more so we’re going to him where he can get it in his hands and go create,’’ Donovan said. “It’s more an evolution of how we can best utilize him. There have been some times on free throws and dead balls where we’ve moved him off the ball and tried to run action at him or put him in situations where he can be aggressive and he can go play instead of maybe having the ball in his hands and he’s focused on, ‘Hey, I have to get us into the offense.’ He’s done a very good job of that.’’

White said it’s all about him being confident in whatever role he has on the team.

“Coach is trying to put me in positions to use my strengths, and I’ve been playing a little more confident,” White said. “I feel more comfortable, and it’s been translating. Yeah, man, it’s all about confidence with me. Everybody has one common goal, and that’s to win. That’s all we really care about as a team.’’

It was the second time in White’s career (also Feb. 20, 2020, against Washington), that he scored at least 10 points in the first quarter. His other double-double this season was a 16-point, 10-assist game at Washington on New Year’s Eve.


In the Phoenix Suns’ 132–100 home win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Suns’ Cameron Johnson and the Blazers’ Nassir Little, teammates on UNC’s 2018–19 team, both had good games in 16 minutes off the bench.

Little had his best game since his 30-point, 26.9 game-score effort against Milwaukee on Feb. 1 by scoring all 18 of his points while playing the entire fourth quarter. Little played just over a minute in the first three quarters before coming in with Portland trailing 100–71 heading into the final period.

Little collected three 3-pointers, five rebounds, a steal, a block and a 15.1 game score. That game score was higher than any he put up during his rookie season (his high was 13.7 in a 12-point, 11-rebound game against New Orleans on Nov. 19, 2019).

“It’s out of my control. All I can do is my part,” Little said when asked about not playing until the fourth quarter when the game was all but decided. “When Coach calls my number, I just have to be ready.”

Johnson scored 13 points, made all three 3-point attempts and pulled down three rebounds. His 11.6 game score was his best in the last eight games.


The good news for Justin Jackson in Oklahoma City’s 108–93 home loss to Miami is that he played more than 15 minutes after not getting off the bench the night before at Cleveland. Jackson scored six points but missed all three 3-point attempts.

That was his most playing time since getting nearly 34 minutes and scoring 22 points five games earlier against Milwaukee.

How Tar Heels did Monday, what’s next

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
No game
Season statistics
— 25 games, 11.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 37.4FG%, 32.4%3P, 83.6FT
Up next — Tuesday vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.; Thursday at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
——————————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
No game
Season statistics — 27 games, 15.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 48.0FG%, 38.8%3P, 84.3FT%
Up next — Tuesday at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday at New York, 7:30 p.m.
——————————————————
Tony Bradley, Philadelphia Sixers center/forward
No game
Season statistics
— 10 games, 4.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist, 52.8 FG%, 0–0 3FG, 3–5 FT
Up next —
Tuesday vs. Toronto in Tampa, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday vs. Dallas, 7 p.m., TNT
——————————————————
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics —
26 games, 8.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 40.9FG%, 37.2%3P, 84.2FT%
Up next — Tuesday vs. Golden State, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday vs. Sacramento, 7:30 p.m.
——————————————————
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
No game
Season statistics
— 19 games, 2.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 41.9FG%, 0–0 3FG, 87.5FT%
Up next — Tuesday at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.; Wednesday at Chicago, 8 p.m.
——————————————————
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
No game
Season statistics —
23 games, 10.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.5FG%, 42.1 3P%, 71.4FT%
Up next — Tuesday at Orlando, 7 p.m.; Wednesday at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
——————————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
No game
Season statistics — 31 games, 8.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 40.3FG%, 38.5%3P, 64.7FT%
Up next —
Tuesday vs. Toronto in Tampa, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday vs. Dallas, 7 p.m., TNT
——————————————————
Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward
108–94 loss vs. Miami —
15 minutes, 6 points, 2–8 FG, 0–3 3FG, 2–2 FT, 1 rebound, 1 steal, -6, 1.3 game score
Season statistics —
20 games, 7.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 44.4FG%, 33.3%3P, 80.0FT%
Up next — Wednesday vs. San Antonio, 8 p.m.; Friday vs. Atlanta, 8 p.m.
——————————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
132–100 win vs. Portland —
16 minutes, 13 points, 5–7 FG, 3–3 3FG, 0-1 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, +13, 11.6 game score
Season statistics —
30 games, 10.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 43.8FG%, 37.4%3P, 85.3FT%
Up next —Wednesday vs. Charlotte, 9 p.m., FSS; Friday at Chicago, 8 p.m.
——————————————————
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
132–100 loss at Phoenix —
16 minutes, 18 points, 4–7 FG, 3–6 3FG, 7–8 FT, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, -3, 15.1 game score
Season statistics —
15 games, 5.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.2 of an assist, 55.1%FG, 56.0%3P, 88.2FT%
Up next — Tuesday at Denver, 10 p.m., TNT; Friday at Los Angeles Lakers, 10 p.m., ESPN
——————————————————
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics —
9 games, 2 points, 1–7 FG, 0–6 3FG, 1 rebound
Up next — Tuesday vs. Golden State, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday vs. Sacramento, 7:30 p.m.
——————————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
120–100 win at Houston — 31 minutes, 24 points, 10–16 FG, 4–7 3FG, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, +2, 20.7 game score
Season statistics — 30 games, 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 41.2FG%, 36.5%3P, 87.1 FT
Up next — Wednesday vs. Minnesota, 8 p.m.; Friday vs. Phoenix, 8 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.



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