Tar Heels in NBA: Johnson scores 13, hits key late 3-pointer in Suns victory

By R.L. Bynum

The Phoenix Suns are one of the best teams in the NBA and Cameron Johnson’s consistency of late has been an important element.

On Monday night, he produced two big plays at the end with a huge 3-pointer and a big assist.

Johnson collected 13 points and three rebounds as Phoenix beat San Antonio 108–104 at home. The Suns rebounded from a loss Friday to Golden State, have won 19 of their last 20 games and are tied with the Warriors for the best record in the league at 20–4.

For the first time in his NBA career, Johnson has scored in double figures in four consecutive games.

The Spurs’ Dejounte Murray was about to score a transition drive when Chris Paul knocked the ball out of bounds with 1:30 remaining.

“He’s real crafty,” Johnson said. “There’s a reason he’s one of the all-time steals leaders. He’s smart, quick with his hands. And, when you watch him do it, it’s pretty impressive.”

Johnson’s 3-pointer from the corner with 1:10 left pushed Phoenix’s lead to six points. Then, he made a bounce pass off of a baseline drive with 45.7 seconds left to assist on a Deandre Ayton dunk.

His big 3-pointer came in a game where he struggled with his shot, finishing 2 of 7 from 3-point range.

“Coach got on me for passing up one before and games like that, you have to just work though it,” Johnson said. “There’s a stretch where I just felt like they were good and they weren’t going down. And those happen.”

Johnson is getting better on the defensive end as well, recording two steals and a block.


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In Orlando’s 126–95 Monday loss at Golden State, Cole Anthony had nine points, one assist and four turnovers. It was the first time in 19 games this season that he hasn’t scored double-digit points.


Danny Green contributed nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks in Philadelphia’s 127–124 overtime win Monday at Charlotte.


Tony Bradley had two points in Chicago’s 111–107 Saturday win at Brooklyn, then collected three points and six rebounds in the Bulls’ 109–97 Monday home win over Denver. Coby White is still in the NBA’s health-and-safety protocols and missed both games.


Reggie Bullock started his third consecutive game Saturday as Dallas lost at home against Memphis 97–90. He had five points and three rebounds and was 1 of 7 from 3-point range.


In the G League on Saturday, Day’Ron Sharpe collected 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and a block in his Long Island Nets’ 125–110 loss against Delaware. He’s averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in three G League games.

(Saturday, Sunday and Monday)
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
126–95 Monday loss at Golden State —
Started; 27 minutes, 9 points, 3–11 FG, 0–5 3FG, 3–3 FT, 1 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, -17, -1.3 game score
Season statistics — 19 games, 19.6 points, 42.1 FG%, 34.5 3FG%, 87.7 FT%, 6.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Wednesday at Sacramento; 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Los Angeles Clippers
———————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
104–99
Saturday vs. Los Angeles Clippers — Missed fifth consecutive game with a sprained right foot.
Season statistics —
19 games, 19.0 points, 47.8 FG%, 39.8 3FG%, 84.6 FT%, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Orlando; 7 p.m. Friday at Charlotte, BSSE
———————————————
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
111–107 Saturday win
at Brooklyn — 6 minutes, 2 points, 1–1 FG, 3 rebounds, +5
109–97 Monday win vs. Denver — 12 minutes, 3 points, 1–2 FG, 1–2 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, +18, 4.8 game score
Season statistics — 19 games, 3.5 points, 56.4 FG%, 4.2 rebounds, 0.4 of an assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cleveland; 8 p.m. Saturday at Miami
———————————————
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
97–90 Saturday loss
vs. Memphis — Started; 27 minutes, 5 points, 2–9 FG, 1–7 3FG, 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers, -15
Season statistics —
21 games, 5.5 points, 34.4 FG%, 27.5 3P%, 62.5 FT%, 2.8 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist
Up next —
7:30 Tuesday vs. Brooklyn, TNT; 8 p.m. Wednesday at Memphis
———————————————
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
109–108 Sunday loss vs. Utah and 112–104 Monday loss at Milwaukee —
Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 9 games, 1.7 points, 70.0 FG%, 50.0 FT%, 3.2 rebounds, 0.1 of an assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Chicago; 8 p.m. Friday at Minnesota
———————————————
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
Off Saturday through Monday
Season statistics —
16 games, 6.6 points, 40.2 FG%, 39.5 3FG%, 4–4 FT, 1.5 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Boston, TNT; 8 p.m. Thursday at Memphis
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
127–124 OT Monday win at Charlotte —
Started; 30 minutes, 9 points, 3–7 FG, 3–7 3FG, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, -2, 7.0 game score
Season statistics — 17 games, 7.9 points, 46.1 FG%, 41.9 3FG%, 4–4 FT, 2.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday at Charlotte, FSSE; 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Utah, NBATV
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
108–104 Monday win vs. San Antonio —
29 minutes, 13 points, 5–14 FG, 2–7 3FG, 1–1 FT, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, +2, 7.3 game score
Season statistics —
24 games, 9.5 points, 41.9 FG%, 39.8 3FG%, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Friday vs. Boston, ESPN; 10:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, at Los Angeles Clippers, NBATV
———————————————
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
145–116 Saturday loss
vs. Boston and 102–90 loss Monday vs. Los Angeles Clippers — Missed both games, and has missed three consecutive game with a sprained left ankle
Season statistics — 21 games, 8.3 points, 47.8 FG%, 31.7 3P%, 82.8 FT%, 5.3 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Wednesday at Golden State, ESPN; 9 p.m. Sunday vs. Minnesota
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
125–110
Saturday loss with Long Island Nets vs. Delaware in G League — Started; 31 minutes, 18 points, 7–11 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2–2 FT, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 turnovers, 1 block, -25
Season NBA statistics — 8 games, 2.6 points, 52.9 FG%, 33.3% 3P%, 2–5 FT, 2.1 rebounds
Season G League statistics — 3 games, 16.3 points, 47.8 FG%, 33.33P%, 90.0 FT%, 10.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 2.3 blocks
Up next — 7:30 Tuesday at Dallas, TNT; 8 p.m. Wednesday at Houston
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
111–107 Saturday win
at Brooklyn and 109–97 Monday win vs. Denver —Missed both; White is out under NBA health-and-safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19, although fully vaccinated
Season statistics — 9 games, 6.1 points, 34.9 FG%, 22.6 3P%, 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cleveland; 8 p.m. Saturday at Miami
———————————————
In G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends (Mavericks affiliate) forward
Season statistics — 6 games, 22.5 points, 49.0% FG, 44.6% 3FG, 72.7 FT%, 8.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.7 of a steal
Up next — 8 p.m. Thursday, 8:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Austin Spurs
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard
Season statistics —
8 games, 19.1 points, 48.1 FG%, 44.4 3FG%, 89.5 FT%, 4.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 steals
Up next — 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday vs. Raptors 905
———————————————

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