Tar Heels in NBA: Anthony hits 21 in loss to Lakers; White nears return; Little starts

By R.L. Bynum

There was good news Sunday for North Carolina’s previous two starting point guards that was mixed with bad news.

Orlando’s Cole Anthony played well again but in the Magic’s fifth consecutive loss. Chicago’s Coby White finally was allowed to return to the Bulls’ practice facility for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 1, but returns to a team with reportedly 10 players out under the NBA’s health-and-safety protocols.

Anthony scored 21 points and four 3-pointers while pulling down six rebounds, but it came in a 106–94 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. It was the Lakers’ fifth win in seven games but capped an 0–5 West Coast road trip for the 5–23 Magic.

Anthony scored nine points in the fourth quarter and Orlando trimmed a 25-point deficit to 10 on his pull-up 3-pointer with 2:24 left. The Magic went scoreless the rest of the way, though.

In the third quarter, LeBron James, who scored 30 points, swatted away Anthony’s driving shot.

Although Anthony has struggled with two-point shots in the last three games, making 10 of 28 attempts, he has combined for 15 3-pointers and has scored more than 20 points in each of the three games.

Wayne Ellington scored three points in seven minutes for the Lakers and hasn’t scored in double figures in eight games.


White has missed the last five games for Chicago and hopes to play soon, but the NBA has postponed the Bulls’ home game Tuesday vs. Detroit and the road game Thursday with Toronto.

Guard Zach LaVine and reserve wing Troy Brown Jr. boosted the total of Bulls in the NBA’s health-and-safety protocols to eight Sunday. They join DeMar DeRozan, Ayo Dosunmu, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., Matt Thomas and Stanley Johnson. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that the number is now up to 10, including Alize Johnson.

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With all of those players out, White figures to get plenty of playing time when he’s deemed ready to play. Chicago (17–10), still third in the Eastern Conference, has lost two consecutive games with its depleted active roster.

White’s frustrating season didn’t start until Chicago’s 14th game because he was recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. With point guard Lonzo Ball now on the Bulls roster, White has only averaged 17.6 minutes and 6.1 points per game, highlighted by 20 points in a win at Orlando on Nov. 26.


Nassir Little got his second consecutive start after missing four games with a calf injury. In his fourth start of the season, Portland dropped its fifth consecutive game with a 116–111 home loss to Minnesota.

Little had 10 points, two rebounds and a block in 20 minutes.

Little’s 3-pointer and driving dunk on consecutive possessions pulled the Blazers within seven at 100–93 with 7:51 left. The Blazers later took a 3-point lead but Minnesota finished the game with a 10–5 run.


Reggie Bullock had six points, four rebounds and two assists in Dallas’ 103–84 win at Oklahoma City. It’s the 14th time in the last 15 games that Bullock has failed to score in double figures. He is two defensive rebounds away from reaching 800 for his career.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
106–94 loss at Los Angeles Lakers —
Started; 35 minutes, 21 points, 6–18 FG, 4–11 3FG, 5–6 FT, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 turnovers, -11, 12.3 game score
Season statistics — 22 games, 20.5 points, 42.5 FG%, 3767 3FG%, 87.4 FT%, 6.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists
Up next —7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Atlanta; 7 p.m. Friday vs. Miami
———————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
Off Sunday
Season statistics —
22 games, 18.0 points, 46.5 FG%, 39.4 3FG%, 83.8 FT%, 6.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Monday at Toronto; 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Washington
———————————————
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
Off Sunday
Season statistics — 21 games, 3.5 points, 55.7 FG%, 4.5 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Up next — 3:30 Sunday vs. Los Angeles Lakers; 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, vs. Houston
———————————————
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
103–84 win at Oklahoma City —
Started; 26 minutes, 6 points, 2–5 FG, 1–4 3FG, 1–1 FT, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, +20, 5.5 game score
Season statistics —
25 games, 5.7 points, 35.6 FG%, 27.5 3P%, 70.0 FT%, 2.7 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist
Up next —
8:30 Monday vs. Charlotte, BSSE; 7:30 Wednesday vs. Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN
———————————————
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
Off Sunday
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. Monday vs. Miami; 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Houston
———————————————
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
106–94 win vs. Orlando
— 7 minutes, 3 points, 1–1 FG, 1–1 3FG, 0–1 FT, 3 rebounds, +5, 3.2 game score
Season statistics —
20 games, 6.5 points, 40.2 FG%, 40.4 3FG%, 4–5 FT, 1.5 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist
Up next — 7:30 Wednesday at Dallas, ESPN; 10 p.m. Friday at Minnesota, ESPN
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
Off Sunday
Season statistics — 20 games, 7.3 points, 43.2 FG%, 39.8 3FG%, 4–4 FT, 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 8 p.m. Monday at Memphis; 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Miami
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
Off Sunday
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
116–111 loss vs. Minnesota —
Started; 20 minutes, 10 points, 4–7 FG, 1–4 3FG, 1–2 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 block, -5, 6.4 game score
Season statistics — 23 games, 8.8 points, 49.0 FG%, 32.4 3P%, 75.6 FT%, 5.2 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Phoenix, TNT; 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Memphis
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
116–104 win at Detroit —
Not active for the game
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, 18.0 points, 47.8 FG%, 33.33P%, 85.7 FT%, 9.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 2.6 blocks
Up next — Brooklyn plays at 7:30 Tuesday vs. Toronto; Long Island plays at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Maine Celtics
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
Off Sunday
Season statistics — 9 games, 6.1 points, 34.9 FG%, 22.6 3P%, 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 3:30 Sunday vs. Los Angeles Lakers; 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, vs. Houston
———————————————
In G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends (Mavericks affiliate) forward
Season statistics — 8 games, 23.0 points, 47.3% FG, 41.9% 3FG, 83.3 FT%, 7.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.9 of a steal
Up next — 8:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at Rio Grande (Rockets affiliate)
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard
Season statistics —
10 games, 17.3 points, 45.8 FG%, 42.6 3FG%, 88.0 FT%, 4.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals
Up next — 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday vs. Long Island Nets
———————————————

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