Tar Heels in NBA: Little solid as starter in Blazers’ loss; Sharpe scores first NBA points, to play G League games

By R.L. Bynum

What could Nassir Little show the NBA if given more significant playing time? We might find out in the next few games.

With left knee patellar tendinopathy, sometimes known as “jumper’s knee,” sidelining Norman Powell, Little started for the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night and played well in their 116–86 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Although Powell, a six-year veteran former UCLA player, only missed one game with a similar injury last season, he may miss multiple games this time around.

Little was solid in 32 minutes with 10 points, going 2 of 4 from 3-point range with four rebounds, one assist, two steals (giving him 20 for his career) and two blocks for a 9.8 game score. He was the only Portland double-figure scorer in the game to make more than 50% of his shots (4 of 7).

Little has been known for being able to come off the bench to provide energy and good defense and he brought that as a starter Monday. It was the ninth start of his career after starting twice last season.

“I know my role is to come out there be a spark plug and bring energy and compete and play hard,” Little said after he scored 11 points off the bench during the Blazers’ Saturday win over Phoenix. “Obviously, this is something I feel I can do consistently.”

In Orlando’s second game in as many nights, the Magic lost 107–90 at Miami but it was another solid game for Cole Anthony with 12 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and three turnovers.

Anthony, who had 29 points and 16 rebounds in a Sunday victory at New York, is averaging eight rebounds a game after averaging 4.7 during his rookie season.

On the day that it was officially announced that Day’Ron Sharpe would be playing a good number of games with the Long Island Nets in the G League, he scored his first NBA points in the Brooklyn Nets’ 104–90 home victory over the Washington Wizards.

He made his only shot for two points after missing his only shot Sunday in a 1-minute, 29-second NBA debut against Charlotte.

Nets coach Steve Nash had said during preseason camp that Sharpe would have a tough time making the team’s rotation and would play games in the G League so that he would get some playing time.


Sharpe and Cam Thomas, a rookie out of LSU, were both assigned to Long Island on Monday and then recalled for Monday night’s game, with both playing 4 minutes and three seconds.

The G League season starts Friday with Long Island’s opener on Saturday, Nov. 6 on the road against the Delaware Blue Coats

Theo Pinson will play for the Maine Celtics and Justin Jackson for the Texas Legends, with both opening on the road on Nov. 5. Maine opens against the College Park Skyhawks (Atlanta Hawks affiliate) and the first Texas game is against the Lakeland Magic (Orlando affiliate).

Through four Cleveland games, including Monday’s 99–87 win at Denver, Ed Davis has yet to make his Cavaliers debut. On Monday, he was the only player on the active roster who didn’t play.

Chicago’s Tony Bradley still has not made his debut for the 4–0 Bulls.

How Tar Heels did Monday

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
107–90 loss at Miami —
Started; 31 minutes, 12 points, 5–13 FG, 1–5 3FG, 1–2 FT, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, -5, 9.7 game score
Season statistics — 4 games, 15.3 points, 36.4 FG%, 32.1 3FG%, 80.0 FT%, 8.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Charlotte, BSSE; 7 p.m. Friday at Toronto
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
Off Monday
Season statistics — 3 games, 28.3 points, 50.0 FG%, 55.6 3FG%, 78.3 FT%, 10.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Wednesday at Phoenix; 8 p.m. Friday at New Orleans
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
111–108 win at Toronto
— Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 1 game, 2 points, 1–1 FG, 1 rebound, 1 block
Up next — 8 p.m. Thursday vs. New York; 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Utah
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
Off Monday
Season statistics — 2 games, 2.0 points, 14.3 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%, 2.0 rebounds
Up next —
8:30 Tuesday vs. Houston; 8:30 Thursday vs. San Antonio
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
99–87 win at Denver —
Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Up next — 10:30 Wednesday at Los Angeles Clippers; 10:30 Friday at Los Angeles Lakers
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
Off Monday, hasn’t made his season debut because of a left hamstring strain
Up next — 8:30 Tuesday at San Antonio; 8 p.m. Wednesday at Oklahoma City
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
Off Monday
Season statistics — 3 games, 5.7 points, 46.2 FG%, 41.7 3FG%, 3.0 rebounds
Up next — 7:30 Tuesday at New York, TNT; 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Detroit, NBATV
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
Off Monday
Season statistics — 3 games, 8.0 points, 40.9 FG%, 46.2 3FG%, 1.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Sacramento; 10 p.m. Saturday vs. Cleveland
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers forward/guard
116–86 loss at L.A. Clippers —
Started; 32 minutes, 10 points, 4–7 FG, 2–4 3FG, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, -17, 9.8 game scoreSeason statistics — 3 games, 9.3 points, 54.5 FG%, 44.4 3P%, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist
Up next — Wednesday vs. Memphis, ESPN; 10 p.m. Friday vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
104–90 win vs. Washington
4 minutes; 2 points, 1–1 FG, -2, 1.7 game score
Season statistics —
2 games, 1.0 point, 50% FG, 0–1 3FG
Up next —
7:30 Wednesday vs. Miami; 7:30 Friday vs. Indiana
Recovering from injury
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard (had left shoulder surgery; unlikely to play until late November)
In G-League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends forward (Dallas Mavericks’ team)
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard (Boston Celtics’ team)

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