Tar Heels in NBA: White, Anthony each return to starting lineups, have big games

By R.L. Bynum

After 15 games coming off the Chicago Bulls’ bench, the misfortune of two teammates gave Coby White a chance to prove that he deserves more playing time.

He took full advantage of his chance.

Starting for the first time since March 12, White collected 27 points, five rebounds, seven assists and only one turnover in his best game since the All-Star break. He couldn’t do enough to get his short-handed Bulls a win, though, as Memphis won 126–115 for the Bulls’ fifth consecutive loss.

White was already expected to see more playing time after Zach LaVine entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols with the expectation that he’d miss several games. Then, when Tomas Satoransky was declared out for Friday’s game with back spasms, that put White in the starting lineup. Satoransky’s status for Saturday night’s home game with Cleveland is uncertain.

“I was just trying to get the team organized and try to get the best shot available,” said White, who scored a total of 30 points in his previous four games. “My mindset didn’t really change [with LaVine out]. Just trying to move the ball and get the best shot for the offense and the team.”

That was White’s best scoring game since he netted 30 against New Orleans on Feb. 10. His 23.7 game score was his second-best this season, topped only by the 31.3 he put up in his 36-point game at Sacramento on Jan. 6.

“I thought he played a very good game. I thought he was really aggressive. He was really playing to his strengths, and it showed,” Chicago’s Nikola Vučević, who scored 24 points, said of White. “I think, at times when he’s a little too hesitant or doesn’t want to be over-aggressive and shoot the ball when he’s open, he takes away from his strengths. So I actually told him, ‘You just got to play your game and do what you do.’ And he did that.”

White made all seven free-throw attempts to push his free-throw percentage for the season up to 91.3%, which is tied for seventh in the league. White has made 24 consecutive free-throw attempts.

He shot 80% from the line during his season at Carolina, with his best game making all 10 attempts against Syracuse in his 34-point game on Feb. 26, 2019. The Carolina school record for best free-throw percentage in a season is held by Shammond Williams at 91.1% in the 1997–98 season.

In his sixth game since returning from a rib injury, Cole Anthony was finally back in the Orlando starting lineup and played well.

In his first start since Feb. 9, Anthony had 19 points, three 3-pointers, seven rebounds, five assists and two turnovers in 29 minutes. It all came in a 113–102 road loss to Toronto in Tampa, Fla.

That was the second-best scoring game of Anthony’s rookie NBA season, only bettered by the 21 points he scored Jan. 25 at home against Charlotte. The seven rebounds matched his season-high that he also pulled down at Minnesota on Jan. 20. His 15.4 game score was his third-best of the season.

Danny Green, Tony Bradley and Reggie Bullock each scored 11 points.

Green’s two free throws with 9.8 seconds left helped Philadelphia earn a 106–103 home win over the Los Angeles Clippers for the 76ers’ fourth consecutive win. Green collected three 3-pointers, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Green’s 15.6 game score was his best since putting up the same number in a win at Boston on April 6.

Bradley’s 11 points came in Oklahoma City’s ninth consecutive defeat, 110–104 at Detroit, Bradley was 4 of 6 from the floor with seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

The Pistons continued their recent practice of resting Wayne Ellington on the first night of consecutive nights with games.

Bullock’s 11 points came in New York’s 117–109 victory at Dallas. He had two 3-pointers and five rebounds as the Knicks won their fifth consecutive game.

In Thursday’s only game involving Tar Heels, Cameron Johnson’s Phoenix Suns beat Harrison Barnes’ Sacramento Kings 122–114 despite 14 points, three 3-pointers and three assists for Barnes. Johnson collected six points, two rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes.

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

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
113–102 Friday loss vs. Toronto in Tampa, Fla. —
Started; 29 minutes, 19 points, 6–12 FG, 3–5 3FG, 4–5 FT, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, +2, 15.4 game score
Season statistics — 31 games, 11.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 38.5FG%, 31.1%3P, 83.8FT
Up next — Sunday vs. Houston, 7 p.m.; Tuesday at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
122–114 Thursday loss at Phoenix —
40 minutes, 14 points, 5–9 FG, 3–6 3FG, 1–1 FT, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, -14, 12.4 game score
Season statistics
— 53 games, 15.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 48.9FG%, 36.5%3P, 82.6FT%
Up next — Sunday at Dallas, 7:30 p.m., NBATV; Tuesday vs. Minnesota, 10 p.m.
Tony Bradley, Oklahoma City Thunder center/forward
110–104 Friday loss at Detroit —
23 minutes, 11 points, 4–6 FG, 3–3 FT, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers, +13, 11.0 game score
Season statistics
— 31 games, 6.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist, 66.7 FG%, 0–2 3FG, 65.7FT%
Up next —
Sunday at Toronto, 7 p.m.; Monday at Washington, 8 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
117–109 Friday win at Dallas —
41 minutes, 11 points, 4–10 FG, 2–6 3FG, 1–1 FT, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, +1, 5.6 game score
Season statistics —
50 games, 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 42.8FG%, 39.7%3P, 88.9FT%
Up next — Sunday vs. New Orleans, 1 p.m., ESPN; Tuesday vs. Charlotte, 7:30 p.m., BSSE
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
119–111 win Friday vs. Miami — Didn’t play after getting into two consecutive games
Season statistics
— 20 games, 2.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 41.9FG%, 0–0 3FG, 90.0FT%
Up next — Sunday at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m., NBATV; Tuesday at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
110–104 Friday loss vs. Oklahoma City — Sat out the first of games on back-to-back nights for rest
Season statistics —
40 games, 9.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.6FG%, 42.3 3P%, 78.8FT%
Up next — Saturday at Washington, 8 p.m.; Monday vs. Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
106–103 Friday win vs. Los Angeles Clippers —
36 minutes, 11 points, 3–10 FG, 3–9 3FG, 2–2 FT, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks, +2, 15.6 game score
Season statistics — 55 games, 9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 41.9FG%, 4124%3P, 75.8FT%
Up next —
Monday vs. Golden State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN; Wednesday vs. Phoenix, 7 p.m., NBATV
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
122–114 Thursday win vs. Sacramento —
22 minutes, 6 points, 2–8 FG, 0–5 3FG, 2–2 FT, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, -8, 2.9 game score
Season statistics — 49 games, 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.6FG%, 38.6%3P, 87.2FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. San Antonio, 10 p.m.; Monday at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
107–106 Friday win at San Antonio —
11 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, +/- of 0, 0.5 game score
Season statistics — 36 games, 5.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist, 48.1%FG, 37.7%3P, 86.8FT%
Up next — Sunday at Charlotte, 7 p.m., BSSE; Tuesday vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m., TNT
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
117–109 Friday win at Dallas —
Didn’t play for the seven consecutive game
Season statistics —
14 games, 2 points, 1–9 FG, 0–8 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Up next — Sunday vs. New Orleans, 1 p.m., ESPN; Tuesday vs. Charlotte, 7:30 p.m., BSSE
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
126–115 Friday loss vs. Memphis — Started; 27 points, 8–17 FG, 4–8 3FG, 7–7 FT, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 turnover, -4, 23.7 game score
Season statistics — 52 games, 14.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 41.1FG%, 34.3%3P, 91.3 FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. Cleveland, 8 p.m.; Monday at Boston, 7:30 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

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