Tar Heels in NBA: Johnson hits 16 in Suns win; Sharpe puts up another G League double-double

By R.L. Bynum

Cameron Johnson continues to be a solid contributor for the Phoenix Suns, who keep rolling along, and Day’Ron Sharpe put up another G League double-double.

Johnson scored in double figures for a career-high fifth consecutive game Friday night with 16 points as the Suns (21–4) easily won at home against the Boston Celtics 111–90 for their 20th win in the last 21 games.

In 31 minutes, he was 5 of 9 from the floor, 4 of 7 from 3-point range, pulled down six rebounds and had a steal. He put up a game score of 13.1, his fifth double-digit game score of the season.

It’s been important for Phoenix to get a big contribution from Johnson, considering that it was without Devin Booker (left hamstring strain) for a fourth consecutive game and Deandre Ayton missed Friday’s game (non-COVID-19-related illness.)

Johnson was one of three players who took turns guarding former Duke star Jason Tatum, who scored 24 points but went 10 of 25 from the floor.


Sharpe isn’t getting much of a chance to play for Brooklyn, playing only 36 minutes total in eight games. But he has been impressive in averaging 19 points and 10.3 rebounds in four G League games.

In his Long Island Nets’ 117–98 Thursday loss to College Park, he scored 27 points in 26 minutes on 11 of 19 shooting with 10 rebounds, a steal and a block.


Harrison Barnes returned from missing five games with a right foot sprain on Wednesday with a good game in a Sacramento win over Orlando. But Barnes had his worst game of the season in Friday’s 124–123 loss at Charlotte.

In 26 minutes, he scored a season-low eight points and put up a season-low 2.4 game score.

On the positive side, Barnes’ two 3-pointers gave him 901 for his career.


Similarly, Reggie Bullock had his best game of the season with 15 points at Memphis on Wednesday, then had his fifth scoreless game of the season with a -2.1 game score. Bullock missed his only two shots, both 3-point attempts, in 21 minutes as Dallas lost 106–93 at Indiana.


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Another Tar Heel to go scoreless was Danny Green. That came in Philadelphia’s 118–96 home loss Thursday to Utah. He missed all five shots, four from 3-point range, and had a -1.9 game score. It was his third scoreless game of the season after doing that only once last season.


Wayne Ellington hasn’t quite found the rhythm on his shot of late. In Thursday’s 108–95 loss at Memphis, he had six points on 2 of 6 shooting in 20 minutes and, in Friday’s 116–95 win at Oklahoma City, he was 3 of 9 shooting for nine points in 18 minutes.


Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson both had 14 points in their G League games Thursday night.

Jackson was 5 of 14 from the floor and had six rebounds and four assists in his Texas Legends’ 125–98 home loss to the Austin Spurs. Pinson added four rebounds, six assists and two blocks in the Maine Celtics’ 129–103 victory over Raptors 905.

(Thursday and Friday)
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
Off Thursday and Friday
Season statistics — 20 games, 20.3 points, 42.9 FG%, 36.4 3FG%, 87.0 FT%, 6.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists
Up next — 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Los Angeles Clippers; 9:30 Sunday at Los Angeles Lakers
———————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
124–123
Friday loss at Charlotte — Started; 26 minutes, 8 points, 2–9 FG, 2–5 3FG, 2–2 FG, 5 rebounds, 2 turnovers, -8, 2.4 game score
Season statistics —
21 games, 18.3 points, 46.8 FG%, 40.2 3FG%, 84.6 FT%, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists
Up next — 8 p.m. Saturday at Cleveland; 7 p.m. Monday at Toronto
———————————————
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
Off Thursday and Friday
Season statistics — 20 games, 3.5 points, 55.2 FG%, 4.4 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Up next — 8 p.m. Saturday at Miami; 8 p.m. Tuesday vs. Detroit
———————————————
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
106–93 Friday loss at Indiana —
Started; 21 minutes, 0 points, 0–2 FG, 0–2 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 turnover, -11, -2.1 game score
Season statistics —
24 games, 5.7 points, 35.4 FG%, 27.6 3P%, 66.7 FT%, 2.6 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next —
7 p.m. Sunday at Oklahoma City; 8:30 Monday vs. Charlotte, BSSE
———————————————
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
123–106 Friday win at Minnesota —
Didn’t play (coach’s decision); hasn’t gotten into the last four games.
Season statistics —
9 games, 1.7 points, 70.0 FG%, 50.0 FT%, 3.2 rebounds, 0.1 of an assist
Up next — 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Sacramento; 7 p.m. Monday vs. Miami
———————————————
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
108–95 Thursday loss at Memphis —
20 minutes, 6 points, 2–6 FG, 2–5 3FG, 2 turnovers, -14, 0.2 game score
116–95 Friday win at Oklahoma City — 18 minutes, 9 points, 3–9 FG, 3–8 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 steal, -1, 5.2 game score
Season statistics —
19 games, 6.7 points, 39.6 FG%, 39.8 3FG%, 4–4 FT, 1.4 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist
Up next — 9:30 Sunday vs. Orlando; 7:30 Wednesday at Dallas, ESPN
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
118–96 Thursday loss vs. Utah —
Started; 19 minutes, 0 points, 0–5 FG, 0–4 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, -4, -1.9 game score
Season statistics — 19 games, 7.4 points, 43.4 FG%, 40.0 3FG%, 4–4 FT, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Up next — 8:30 Saturday vs. Golden State, ABC (WTVD in Triangle); 8 p.m. Monday at Memphis
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
111–90 Friday win vs. Boston —
31 minutes, 16 points, 5–9 FG, 4–7 3FG, 2–2 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, +12, 13.1 game score
Season statistics —
25 games, 9.8 points, 42.5 FG%, 40.8 3FG%, 3.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 10:30 p.m. Monday at Los Angeles Clippers, NBATV; 10 p.m. Tuesday at Portland, TNT
———————————————
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
Off Thursday and Friday
Season statistics — 22 games, 8.7 points, 48.6 FG%, 32.8 3P%, 76.9 FT%, 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist
Up next — 9 p.m. Sunday vs. Minnesota; 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Phoenix, TNT
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
117–98 Long Island Nets loss Thursday in G League vs. College Park (Hawks affiliate) —
Started; 26 minutes, 27 points, 11–19 FG, 1–3 3FG, 2–2 FT, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, -18
Season NBA statistics — 8 games, 2.6 points, 52.9 FG%, 33.3% 3P%, 2–5 FT, 2.1 rebounds
Season G League statistics — 4 games, 19.0 points, 50.9 FG%, 33.33P%, 91.7 FT%, 10.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 2.0 blocks
Up next — Likely plays for G League Long Island Nets at 7 p.m. Saturday at home vs. College Park
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
Off Thursday and Friday; 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 — 8 p.m. Saturday at Miami; 8 p.m. Tuesday vs. Detroit
———————————————
In G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends (Mavericks affiliate) forward
125–98 loss vs. Austin Spurs — Started; 31 minutes, 14 points, 5–14 FG, 1–7 3FG, 1–1 FT, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, -24
Season statistics — 7 games, 21.3 points, 47.3% FG, 41.3% 3FG, 75.0 FT%, 7.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.7 of a steal
Up next — 8:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Austin Spurs; 8:30 p.m. Monday at Rio Grande (Rockets affiliate)
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard
129–103 Thursday win vs. Raptors 905 —
Started; 35 minutes, 14 points, 4–10 FG, 2–6 3FG, 2–3 FT, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, +7
Season statistics — 9 games, 18.6 points, 47.8 FG%, 44.1 3FG%, 86.4 FT%, 4.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals
Up next — 2 p.m. Saturday vs. Raptors 905; Thursday, Dec. 16 vs. Long Island Nets
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