Tar Heels in NBA: Barnes, who scores 23 again, impressively improving numbers from last season; Bullock hurt; White update

By R.L. Bynum

Harrison Barnes is showing that it wasn’t just a good start to his season and the consistent big games may just keep coming.

After scoring 23 points on consecutive nights, including in Sacramento’s 112–99 home win Wednesday night over New Orleans, his increase in scoring average from last season through eight games is one of the five best in the league.

Barnes, 29, is averaging a career-high 23.3 points per game after averaging 16.1 last season, his best since he averaged 19.2 points per game during the 2016–17 season for Dallas at age 24.

Barnes is shooting a career-high 47.2% from 3-point range. His best previous season was 40.5% for Golden State in the 2014–15 season at age 22.

He’s averaging 9.5 rebounds per game, which is much better than his best previous of 6.6 last season.

For those efforts to produce Kings wins, he’ll need help. He got that Wednesday with 20 points from Tyrese Haliburton and 19 from De’Aaron Fox as they snapped a two-game losing streak to move to 4–4.

Barnes was particularly efficient Wednesday, needing only eight shots to get his 23 points. He shot 5 of 8 from the floor, 4 of 6 from 3-point range and had eight rebounds, three assists and a steal. His game score of 20.3 was his second-best this season.


Coby White’s recovery from offseason left shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum is slowly progressing. Even though Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan told the Chicago Sun-Times that White has been taking “a little bit of contact against player-development guys,” his long-term timetable is still unclear.

Cole Anthony has become a master of the pull-up jumper, according to a story on the Magic’s website. It points out that, coming into Wednesday’s games, the only NBA player with a better shooting percentage on pull-up jumpers was Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant. Anthony and Kemba Walker were the only players in the league with at least 20 3-point pull-up attempts who are shooting at least 50%.

He struggled with his shot in a 92–79 loss to Boston, though, going 4 of 18 from the floor and 2 of 11 from 3-point range. He finished with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. The 5.1 game score was his lowest since putting up a 2.9 and 2.0 in the first two games of the season.

Reggie Bullock played seven first-quarter minutes in Dallas’ 109–108 win at San Antonio before leaving with a facial injury. He was holding his nose after getting hit in the face coming off a screen on defense. He didn’t play after the first quarter, when he missed his only shot and pulled down one rebound.

Dallas coach Jason Kidd said after the game that he didn’t know Bullock’s status.

Tony Bradley and Nassir Little both missed their only shots and went scoreless in losses, and a Tar Heel didn’t play for the winning team in either case.

Bradley played 11 minutes of Chicago’s 103–98 loss at Philadelphia, which Danny Green missed with left hamstring tightness. Little played 10 minutes of a 106–104 defeat at Cleveland, in which Ed Davis didn’t play (coach’s decision). Little had two blocks and Bradley had one.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
92–79 loss vs. Boston —
Started; 37 minutes, 13 points, 4–18 FG, 2–11 3FG, 3–3 FT, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, -13, 5.1 game score
Season statistics — 9 games, 18.7 points, 41.8 FG%, 40.3 3FG%, 82.9 FT%, 7.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Friday vs. San Antonio; 6 p.m. Sunday vs. Utah
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
112–99 win vs. New Orleans —
Started; 39 minutes, 23 points, 5–8 FG, 4–6 3FG, 9–10 FT, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, +13, 20.3 game score
Season statistics — 8 games, 23.3 points, 49.6 FG%, 47.3 3FG%, 84.6 FT%, 9.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Friday vs. Charlotte, BSSE; 6 p.m. Sunday vs. Indiana
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
103–98 loss at Philadelphia —
12 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 2 rebounds, 1 block, +11, 0.2 game score
Season statistics — 5 games, 2.0 points, 55.6 FG%, 3.2 rebounds
Up next — 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Philadelphia; 8 p.m. Monday vs. Brooklyn, 8 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
109–108 win at San Antonio —
7 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–1 3FG, 1 rebound, -2, -1.4 game score
Season statistics —
8 games, 6.1 points, 36.2 FG%, 32.4 3P%, 60.0 FT%, 2.3 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist
Up next —
8:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Boston; 8:30 Monday vs. New Orleans
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
107–104 win vs. Portland —
Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics —
2 games, 0 points, 1 rebound
Up next — 7:30 Friday at Toronto; 6 p.m. Sunday at New York
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
Off Wednesday; still hasn’t made season debut while recovering from left hamstring strain
Up next — 10:30 Thursday vs. Oklahoma City; 10:30 Saturday at Portland, NBATV
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
103–98 win vs. Chicago —
Missed game with left hamstring tightness
Season statistics — 7 games, 6.6 points, 47.1 FG%, 43.8 3FG%, 2.7 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Thursday at Detroit; 8 p.m. Saturday at Chicago
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
Off Wednesday
Season statistics —
4 games, 6.3 points, 34.6 FG%, 35.3 3FG%, 1.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Thursday vs. Houston, NBATV; 10 p.m. Saturday vs. Atlanta
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
107–104 loss at Cleveland —
11 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, -3, -0.7 game score
Season statistics —
8 games, 7.1 points, 50.0 FG%, 42.1 3P%, 77.8 FT%, 5.3 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Friday vs. Indiana; 10:30 Saturday vs. Los Angeles Lakers, NBATV
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
117–108 win vs. Atlanta —
Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics —
4 games, 7 points, 3–4 FG, 1–2 3FG, 2 rebounds
Up next —
7 p.m. Friday at Detroit; 3:30 Sunday at Toronto
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 affiliate); opener Friday at Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic affiliate)
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard (Boston Celtics affiliate); opener Friday at College Park Skyhawks (Atlanta Hawks affiliate)

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