Tar Heels in NBA: With All-Star Booker out last 7 games, Johnson has been Suns’ second-leading scorer

By R.L. Bynum

Cameron Johnson continues to be a key player in keeping the Phoenix Suns rolling while All-Star guard Devin Booker has been out the last seven games with a hamstring injury.

Johnson kept that going Thursday with 13 points and five rebounds in the Suns’ 118–98 victory over Washington for their fifth win in that stretch to tie Golden State for the NBA’s best record at 23–5.

Johnson is second on the team with 14.6 points per game during those seven games. It was Johnson’s eighth consecutive double-figure scoring game after never previously doing it three consecutive games in his career.

Johnson’s three 3-pointers gave him 284 for his career, passing Jason Kidd for 20th on the Suns’ all-time list.

He has at least three 3-pointers in four consecutive games for the first time in his career. At Carolina, his best such streak was three games in the 2018–19 season (4 vs. Georgia Tech Jan. 29, 3 vs. Louisville on Feb. 2 and 3 vs. N.C. State on Feb. 5.)

His four defensive rebounds left him two away from 400 for his career.


Danny Green was back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench for three consecutive games. He had eight points, two 3-pointers, a steal and a block in Philadelphia’s 114–104 loss at Brooklyn, the Sixers’ third consecutive defeat.

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Green went to the free-throw line for only the second game this season. He made both shots and is 6 of 6 from the line this season.

Day’Ron Sharpe played his second consecutive game for the depleted Nets in the win, contributing three points and five rebounds in 13 minutes. He took on the challenge of guarding Joel Embiid and had his moments in that matchup.

“Anytime guys like David Duke, [Kessler Edwards], Day’Ron Sharpe, [Nic Claxton], younger guys in the league, play meaningful minutes, it’s always good,” Kevin Durant said after the game. “It’s only going to help us moving forward.”


Orlando’s Cole Anthony is listed as questionable for Friday’s game against Miami with a right ankle sprain. He missed six games earlier this season with the same injury.

The Athletic has a good feature on how Anthony is a gem for the new-look Magic.


In the G League, Theo Pinson collected 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in his Maine Celtics’ 97–95 home overtime loss to the Long Island Nets.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
Off Thursday
Season statistics — 23 games, 19.9 points, 41.7 FG%, 36.6 3FG%, 87.6 FT%, 6.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Friday vs. Miami; 7:30 Saturday at Brooklyn
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Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
Off Thursday
Season statistics —
24 games, 17.5 points, 45.9 FG%, 38.1 3FG%, 84.5 FT%, 6.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Friday vs. Memphis; 6 p.m. Sunday vs. San Antonio
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Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
Off Thursday
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
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Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
Off Thursday
Season statistics —
27 games, 5.8 points, 36.4 FG%, 28.3 3P%, 72.7 FT%, 2.7 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist
Up next —
8 p.m. Sunday at Minnesota; 8:30 Tuesday vs. Minnesota
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Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
Off Thursday
Season statistics —
10 games, 1.9 points, 75.0 FG%, 25.0 FT%, 3.2 rebounds, 0.1 of an assist
Up next — 9 p.m. Saturday at Milwaukee; 7:30 Sunday at Atlanta
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Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
Off Thursday
Season statistics —
21 games, 6.6 points, 39.7 FG%, 39.8 3FG%, 4–5 FT, 1.5 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Friday at Minnesota, ESPN; 8 p.m. Sunday at Chicago
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
114–105 loss at Brooklyn —
Started; 40 minutes, 8 points, 2–7 FG, 2–7 3FG, 2–2 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, +/- of 0, 5.4 game score
Season statistics — 23 games, 7.0 points, 41.5 FG%, 38.3 3FG%, 6–6 FT, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Up next — 8 p.m. Sunday vs. New Orleans; 7:30 Monday at Boston, NBATV
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
118–98 win vs. Washington —
26 minutes, 13 points, 4–6 FG, 3–5 3FG, 2–2 FT, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, +15, 9.4 game score
Season statistics —
28 games, 10.2 points, 42.4 FG%, 41.2 3FG%, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 8 p.m. Sunday vs. Charlotte, BSSE; 10 p.m. Tuesday at Los Angeles Lakers, TNT
———————————————
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
Off Thursday
Season statistics — 25 games, 8.6 points, 48.1 FG%, 31.6 3P%, 76.6 FT%, 5.2 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Friday vs. Charlotte, BSSE; 6 p.m. Sunday at Memphis
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
114–105 win vs. Philadelphia —
13 minutes, 3 points, 1–2 FG, 1–2 FT, 5 rebounds, +4, 3.5 game score
Season NBA statistics — 10 games, 3.1 points, 59.1 FG%, 33.3% 3P%, 4–11 FT, 2.9 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 Saturday vs. Orlando; Long Island plays Friday at Maine Celtics
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
Off Thursday
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
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In G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends (Mavericks affiliate) forward
Season statistics —
10 games, 22.7 points, 47.3% FG, 41.4% 3FG, 79.2 FT%, 7.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals
Up next — 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, and Thursday, Dec. 30, at Austin Spurs;
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard
97–95 OT loss
vs. Long Island Nets — Started; 34 minutes, 12 points 4–16 FG, 2–8 3FG, 1–1 FT, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 turnovers, +9
Season statistics —
11 games, 16.8 points, 43.4 FG%, 40.6 3FG%, 88.5 FT%, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals
Up next — 7 p.m. Friday vs. Long Island Nets; 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 27, at Cleveland (Cavaliers affiliate)
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