Tar Heels in NBA: Barnes’ amazing buzzer-beater gives Kings fourth consecutive win; good games from Green, White

By R.L. Bynum

With the trade rumors and the trade deadline behind him, Harrison Barnes hit a big shot for the suddenly surging Sacramento Kings.

Barnes caught an inbounds pass from the opposite end of the court and hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer Saturday night to put a punctuation mark on a double-double performance as the Kings beat Cleveland 100–98 for their fourth consecutive win and sixth in the last seven.

His teammates mobbed him after the shot.

“Just to be able to celebrate with my teammates, to have that joy, I think that kind of embodies where we’re at as a team right now,” said Barnes, who had been the subject of trade rumors for weeks. “Everyone’s excited that not only are we winning, but it feels like we’re building something.”

Barnes had 16 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.

Collin Sexton’s layup with 1.6 seconds left gave Cleveland a 98–97 lead. But De’Aaron Fox, who scored 36 points, threw a long baseball pass from the baseline to Barnes. He caught the ball on the right wing and, after taking a couple of steps, nailed a 26-foot jumper in front of the Cleveland bench.

“It was a great pass from Fox,” Barnes said. “He put the ball right in a spot where I was able to turn and get a look. On that play, it was on him to make a read, depending on where the options were. He went with me. I tried to get one up and, luckily, it dropped.”

It was a play that the Kings have run in a half-court situation but rarely when a full-court pass is needed.

“It’s very different, especially when we haven’t necessarily practiced it a lot in those late-game situations,” Barnes said. “And, it’s one of those plays, too, depending on how the defense plays it, you might not even get the ball. It might be stolen on the way there. A lot of things really fell into place for us to be able to make that play.”

It was Barnes’ second career buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer. He also hit one for Dallas against Memphis on Nov. 22, 2017. That 29-foot bank shot capped a 22-point game in the Mavericks’ 95–94 victory.

The Kings’ fifth game-winning buzzer beater since the 2017–18 season are the most of any NBA team. The Cavaliers are second with four, three by LeBron James during the 2017–18 season.

It wasn’t a buzzer-beater, but Barnes’ 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds seconds left on March 2, 2011, gave Carolina a 72–70 win at Florida State. Barnes scored 18 points in the game.

Two of the five buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointers in the NBA this season have come from Tar Heels. Cole Anthony hit one for Orlando on Jan. 20 at Memphis.

The winning streak has put the Kings in position to make a playoff push.

“Things are trending in the right direction for us,” said Barnes, who had combined for 20 points in his previous three games. “We’ve been able to stream together some good wins. We just want to continue to build off this.”

Danny Green had another good game, although in a road loss. Philadelphia fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 122–112, but Green collected 17 points and five 3-pointers.

Coby White tied for his best scoring game in the eight since he was taken out of Chicago’s starting lineup with 13 points in the Bulls’ 120–104 loss at San Antonio. White, who also scored 13 points March 14 against Toronto, added five rebounds and four assists. His 10.0 game score was his best since March 11.

Tony Bradley has reported to the Oklahoma City Thunder after Philadelphia dealt him at the Thursday trade deadline. He must go through COVID-19 protocols and didn’t play in Saturday’s 111–94 home loss to Boston but will participate with the team after going through the protocol steps.

With the Thunder announcing Saturday that it is shutting down Al Horford for the season, Bradley should get a chance to play a lot. A restricted free agent after the season, he’ll likely be able to show if he deserves a role with the team next season.

Justin Jackson, who turns 26 Sunday, didn’t play in the Boston loss, the second consecutive game that he hasn’t gotten off the bench.

Wayne Ellington scored nine points in Detroit’s 113–111 Friday home loss to Brooklyn and 15 points on five 3-pointers in the Pistons’ 106–92 Saturday loss to Washington.

Reggie Bullock missed his second consecutive game after spraining his right ankle on Tuesday against Philadelphia. Theo Pinson didn’t play in the Knicks’ 102–96 road win Saturday over Milwaukee.

In other Friday games, Cameron Johnson had seven points, five rebounds and three assists in Phoenix’s 104–100 road victory over Toronto and Nassir Little was scoreless in 18 minutes of Portland’s 112–105 victory at Orlando.

Anthony was active for Orlando’s 112–105 Friday’s loss to Portland but isn’t expected to play again until after the Magic’s West Coast road trip that concludes April 4 against Denver. He hasn’t played since Feb. 9 and has missed 20 consecutive games since suffering a right rib non-displaced fracture.

How Tar Heels did Friday & Saturday, what’s next

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
112–105 Friday loss vs. Portland —
Missed 20th consecutive game with a right first rib non-displaced fracture
Season statistics — 25 games, 11.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 37.4FG%, 32.4%3P, 83.6FT
Up next — Sunday at Los Angeles Lakers, 10 p.m.; Tuesday at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
100–98 Saturday win vs. Cleveland —
36 minutes, 16 points, 6–10FG, 1–3 3FG, 3–4 FT, 11 rebounds,4 turnovers, +13, 9.9 game score
Season statistics
— 43 games, 15.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 48.6FG%, 35.4%3P, 82.8FT%
Up next — Monday at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.; Wednesday at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.
Tony Bradley, Oklahoma City Thunder center/forward
Saturday loss vs. Boston — Has joined team but not yet activated
Season statistics
— 20 games, 5.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist, 68.0 FG%, 0–0 3FG, 63.66FT%
Up next —
Monday vs. Dallas, 8 p.m.; Wednesday vs. Toronto, 8 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
Saturday win at Milwaukee — Missed his second consecutive game after spraining his right ankle on Tuesday against Philadelphia.
Season statistics — 39 games, 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 41.7FG%, 39.3%3P, 85.7FT%
Up next — Monday vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
107–101 Friday win, 129–107 Saturday loss vs. Houston — Didn’t play for the 21st and 22nd consecutive game
Season statistics
— 19 games, 2.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 41.9FG%, 0–0 3FG, 87.5FT%
Up next — Monday at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday vs. New York, 8 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
113–111 Friday loss vs. Brooklyn — Started; 22 minutes, 9 points, 2–6 FG, 1–5 3FG, 4–4 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, +2, 5.3 game score
106–92 Saturday loss at Washington — Started; 26 minutes, 15 points, 5–10 FG, 5–10 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, -8, 13.6 game score
Season statistics —
33 games, 10.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 45.7FG%, 42.3 3P%, 77.4FT%
Up next — Monday vs. Toronto, 8 p.m.; Wednesday vs. Portland, 7 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
Saturday loss at Los Angeles Clippers — Started; 28 minutes, 17 points, 5–10 FG, 5–9 3FG, 2–2 FT, -5, 10.8 game score
Season statistics —
46 games, 9.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 41.5FG%, 40.6%3P, 70.8FT%
Up next —
Tuesday at Denver, 9 p.m., NBATV; Thursday at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward
Saturday loss vs. Boston — Didn’t play for the second consecutive game
Season statistics — 30 games, 7.0 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 41.8FG%, 30.5%3P, 84.8FT%
Up next — Monday vs. Dallas, 8 p.m.; Wednesday vs. Toronto, 8 p.m.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
104–100 Friday win vs. Toronto in Tampa, Fla. —
19 minutes, 7 points, 3–5 FG, 1–3 3FG, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, +2, 8.7 game score
Season statistics — 38 games, 10.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.3FG%, 38.3%3P, 86.5FT%
Up next — Sunday at Charlotte, 1 p.m., FSS; Tuesday vs. Atlanta, 10 p.m.
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
112–105 Friday win at Orlando —
18 minutes, 0 points, 0–4 FG, 0–2 3FG, 2 rebounds, +6, -2.2 game score
Season statistics — 29 games, 5.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.4 of an assist, 44.9%FG, 37.9%3P, 85.7FT%
Up next — Sunday vs. Toronto in Tampa, Fla., 7 p.m.; Wednesday at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
Saturday win at Milwaukee — Didn’t play for the seventh consecutive game
Season statistics —
12 games, 2 points, 1–8 FG, 0–7 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Up next — Monday vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
120–104 Saturday loss at San Antonio — 26 minutes, 13 points, 5–12 FG, 2–5 3FG, 1–1 FG, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, +6, 10.0 game score
Season statistics — 44 games, 15.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 40.9FG%, 35.1%3P, 89.5 FT%
Up next — Monday at Golden State, 10 p.m.; Wednesday at Phoenix, 10 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

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