Tar Heels in NBA: Anthony says ‘it’s money time,’ is strong in return after nearly two months

By R.L. Bynum

After nearly two months of frustrating, long rehab, Cole Anthony finally was back playing for the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

The game didn’t go so well for Orlando, but just playing again was a relief for him.

“It’s money time,” Anthony said. “I’m ready to make a run. I’m ready to have some fun.”

Anthony scored 13 points and dished out seven assists against only one turnover in the Magic’s 131–116 home loss to Washington after missing 25 games with a non-displaced rib fracture. In 25 games before he got hurt, Anthony was averaging 11 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

“The tough part for me was knowing that I was ready to play, just the bone wasn’t fully healed yet,” said Anthony, who had a pair of 3-pointers, including a step-back jumper in the third quarter. “I felt good but I couldn’t really do anything, so it was tough. That whole process of getting back was a slow build up.”

The rookie hopes to quickly regain the level of play that produced a season-high four consecutive double-figure scoring games before he got hurt early in the next game Feb. 9.

“Before I got injured, I think I was really starting to play my best basketball of the year,” Anthony said. “I think I was really starting to get comfortable with the system. I just really found my rhythm, so it’s just a matter of just building off that. So, it’s taking a great shot playing off my teammates and just really being a leader.”

He stayed in shape the best he could given the limitations of his rehab process.

“Everything physically I could do, I was doing for that whole time,” Anthony said. “I was able to really use my upper body, I was doing lower body lifts. I was on the bike working every day. It was just a grind.”

Unfortunately, recovering from an injury wasn’t new to Anthony. He partially tore a meniscus in his right knee early last season at Carolina. After arthroscopic surgery, he missed 11 games.

He returns to a much younger roster than he played with in February. Since then, Orlando traded Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Gary Clark Jr. and Al-Farouq Aminu and brought in former Duke star Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter, Jeff Teague, Gary Harris and R.J. Hampton.

Anthony points out that the average age of the current Orlando roster is lower than some veteran college teams.

“It’s just a matter of getting everyone together to make sure everyone’s cool each other and just leading out there and, hopefully, being able to get some wins,” Anthony said.

Although Michael Carter-Williams started at point guard against Washington, Anthony figures to get his share of starts the rest of the season.

In Phoenix’s 117–113 overtime home win over Utah, Cameron Johnson contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and two assists in 37 minutes. With a 13.1 game score, that was his fifth game this season with at least a 13 score.

In 21 minutes, Tony Bradley collected 12 points and seven rebounds and was 6 of 9 from the floor in Oklahoma City’s 113–102 home loss to Charlotte, his second time scoring in double figures in three games.

On Wednesday, Danny Green and Coby White both had productive games in road victories.

Green had 17 points, five 3-pointers and a 15.6 game score in 24 minutes as Philadelphia beat Boston 106–96.

White returned after missing one game under COVID-19 protocols to collect 13 points and six assists in Chicago’s 113–97 victory over Indiana.

How Tar Heels did Tuesday & Wednesday, what’s next

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
131–116 Wednesday loss vs. Washington —
26 minutes, 13 points, 4–14 FG, 2–4 3FG, 1–2 FT, 1 rebound, 7 assists, 1 turnover, -9, 9.0 game score
Season statistics — 26 games, 11.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 37.1FG%, 33.3%3P, 82.5FT
Up next — Friday vs. Indiana, 7 p.m.; Sunday vs. Milwaukee, 7 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
No game
Season statistics
— 48 games, 15.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 49.3FG%, 36.2%3P, 82.8FT%
Up next — Thursday vs. Detroit, 10 p.m.; Saturday at Utah, 9 p.m.
Tony Bradley, Oklahoma City Thunder center/forward
113–102 Wednesday loss vs. Charlotte —
21 minutes, 12 points, 6–9 FG, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, -4, 9.2 game score
Season statistics
— 26 games, 6.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist, 67.0 FG%, 0–2 3FG, 72.7FT%
Up next —
Thursday vs. Cleveland, 8 p.m.; Saturday vs. Philadelphia, 9 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
101–99 Wednesday loss at Boston —
Started; 26 minutes, 6 points, 2–8 FG, 2–7 3FG, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, -3, 2.4 games score
Season statistics — 45 games, 9.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 42.7FG%, 40.1%3P, 88.2FT%
Up next — Friday vs. Memphis, 7:30 p.m., NBATV; Sunday vs. Toronto, 8 p.m.
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
141–137 Wednesday loss at Indiana — Didn’t play for the 28th consecutive game (last played on Feb. 8)
Season statistics
— 19 games, 2.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 41.9FG%, 0–0 3FG, 87.5FT%
Up next — Friday at Boston, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
134–119 Tuesday win at Denver — 13 minutes, 2 points, 0–3 FG, 0–3 3FG, 2–2 FT, 1 rebound, 1 assist, -10, 0.5 game score
Season statistics —
37 games, 10.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.4FG%, 41.9 3P%, 78.8FT%
Up next — Thursday at Sacramento, 10 p.m.; Saturday at Portland, 10 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
106–96 Tuesday win at Boston —
24 minutes, 17 points, 6–7 FG, 5–6 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 17 points, +21, 15.6 game score
Season statistics — 51 games, 9.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 42.1FG%, 41.5%3P, 72.4FT%
Up next —
Friday at New Orleans, 8 p.m.; Saturday at Oklahoma City, 9 p.m.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
117–113 Wednesday overtime win vs. Utah —
37 minutes, 11 points, 3–6 FG, 3–5 3FG, 2–2 FT, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, +5, 13.1 game score
Season statistics — 44 games, 9.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 44.2FG%, 38.7%3P, 88.1FT%
Up next — Thursday at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m., TNT; Saturday vs. Washington, 10 p.m.
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
133–116 Tuesday loss at Los Angeles Clippers —
12 minutes, 5 rebounds, 2–5 FG, 1–3 3FG, 6 rebounds, 1 block, -16, 4.4 game score
Season statistics — 31 games, 5.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist, 46.2%FG, 38.5%3P, 86.1FT%
Up next — Thursday at Utah, 10 p.m.; Saturday vs. Detroit, 10 p.m.
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
101–99 Wednesday loss at Boston —
Didn’t play
Season statistics — 14 games, 2 points, 1–9 FG, 0–8 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Up next — Friday vs. Memphis, 7:30 p.m., NBATV; Sunday vs. Toronto, 8 p.m.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
113–97 Tuesday win at Indiana — 31 minutes, 13 points, 5–9 FG, 1–4 3FG, 2–2 FG, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 turnover, +14, 11.6 game score
Season statistics — 46 games, 14.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 41.1FG%, 34.6%3P, 89.8 FT%
Up next — Thursday vs. Toronto in Tampa, Fla., 7:30 p.m.; Friday at Atlanta, 8 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.


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