Tar Heels in NBA: White slams past LeBron in return; Bullock, Sharpe in COVID-19 protocols; good games for Barnes, Little

By R.L. Bynum

Coby White played for the first time since Nov. 29 and while he didn’t put up big numbers, he slammed home a memorable moment in his return.

In the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls’ 115–110 home victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, he drove on a fast break and avoided a LeBron James’ block attempt with an authoritative dunk.


White missed the last five Bulls games after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 1. He came off the bench to collect five points, two assists and a steal. It was only the 10th game this season for White, whose season started late because he was recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

It was the first game since Dec. 11 for Chicago, which had two games postponed last week because of a flurry of positive COVID-19 tests.

DeMar DeRozan led Chicago with 38 points in his first game in two weeks. Zach LaVine is among four Bulls still in the protocols.

Tony Bradley had four points, three rebounds and three steals in 11 minutes for Chicago.

For the Lakers, players Kent Bazemore, Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk and Austin Reaves as well as Coach Frank Vogel are in the protocols and Anthony Davis is out with a knee injury.

Wayne Ellington contributed six points, four rebounds and three assists for the Lakers in the defeat in his third consecutive start. In the Lakers’ 110–92 Friday loss at Minnesota, he had eight points, two 3-pointers, two assists and a steal.

While White returned from the health-and-safety protocols, Dallas guard Reggie Bullock and Brooklyn center Day’Ron Sharpe both entered the protocols late last week. Seven Boston players being in the protocols was a big reason the Celtics signed Justin Jackson to a 10-day contract Saturday.

Theo Pinson, who has played for the Maine Celtics in the G League all season, is expected to sign with the Dallas Mavericks, who are also missing several players under the league’s hardship exception.


Harrison Barnes collected 20 points, four rebounds and four assists in short-handed Sacramento’s 124–105 home loss Friday to Memphis. Sunday, he had 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the Kings’ 121–114 win at San Antonio. He eclipsed 1,250 career assists on Friday and now has 1,254.

Barnes has put up double-digit game scores in three consecutive games (14.4 against Memphis and 12.1 against San Antonio) for the first time since mid-November.


Nassir Little has started a career-high six consecutive games for Portland after he started twice last season and five times in his rookie season.

In the Blazers’ 125–116 Friday win over Charlotte, Little put up career-highs of six assists and three blocks while scoring three points and pulling down eight rebounds. Little’s best games in those first two categories at UNC were three assists (in a Nov. 6, 2018, win at Wofford) and two blocks (in that same Wofford game and in a Feb. 5, 2019 home win over N.C. State).

In Portland’s 105–100 Sunday victory at Memphis, he collected 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. His 14.2 game score was tied for his second-best this season, bettered only by the 14.5 in a 13 point, 14 rebound game at Houston on Nov. 12.

Little pulled down four offensive rebounds in Sunday to give him 100 for his career. The two blocks leave him one away from 50 career blocks.


After playing at least 26 minutes in all seven games that Devin Booker missed with a hamstring injury, Cameron Johnson only played a little more than 21 minutes in Booker’s first game back, a 137–106 home Phoenix win over Charlotte. Booker scored 16 points in his return.

Johnson still extended his career-high streak of double-figure scoring games to nine with 12 points and had two 3-pointers. Three of Johnson’s four rebounds were defensive, giving him 400 defensive rebounds for his career.


Cole Anthony has missed Orlando’s last two games with a sprained right ankle, the same injury that sidelined him for six games earlier this season.

(Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
115–105 Friday loss
vs. Miami and 100–93 Saturday win at Brooklyn — Missed both games with a sprained right ankle
Season statistics — 23 games, 19.9 points, 41.7 FG%, 36.6 3FG%, 87.6 FT%, 6.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists
Up next — 7:30 Monday at Toronto; 7:30 Wednesday at Atlanta, NBATV
———————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
124–105 Friday loss vs. Memphis —
Started; 36 minutes, 20 points, 5–16 FG, 3–7 3FG, 7–7 FT, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, -9, 14.4 game score
121–114 Sunday win vs. San Antonio — Started, 40 minutes, 14 points, 4–11 FG, 1–3 3FG, 5–6 FT, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, +8, 12.1 game score
Season statistics — 26 games, 17.4 points, 44.8 FG%, 38.2 3FG%, 85.2 FT%, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Monday at Golden State; 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Los Angeles Clippers, NBATV
———————————————
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
115–110 Sunday win vs. Los Angeles Lakers —
11 minutes, 4 points, 2–4 FG, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, -3, 7.0 game score
Season statistics — 22 games, 3.5 points, 55.4 FG%, 4.4 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Up next — 8 p.m. Monday vs. Houston; 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Toronto
———————————————
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
111–105 Sunday loss at Minnesota —
Entered NBA’s health-and-safety protocols on Saturday
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 —
8:30 Tuesday vs. Minnesota; 8:30 Thursday vs. Milwaukee, NBATV
———————————————
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
119–90
Saturday win at Milwaukee — 10 minutes, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, +6, 2.0 game score
Sunday at Atlanta — Postponed
Season statistics —
11 games, 1.7 points, 75.0 FG%, 25.0 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 0.1 of an assist
Up next — 7:30 Wednesday at Boston; 6 p.m. Sunday vs. Toronto
———————————————
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
110–92 Friday loss at Minnesota —
Started; 30 minutes, 8 points, 3–10 FG, 2–9 3FG, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, -9, 1.8 game score
115–110 Sunday loss at Chicago — Started; 35 minutes, 6 points, 2–5 FG, 2–5 3FG, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, -3, 6.8 game score
Season statistics — 23 games, 6.7 points, 38.9 FG%, 38.5 3FG%, 4–5 FT, 1.7 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Phoenix, TNT; 10:30 Thursday vs. San Antonio
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
Sunday vs. New Orleans —
Postponed
Season statistics — 23 games, 7.0 points, 41.5 FG%, 38.3 3FG%, 6–6 FT, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Up next — 7:30 Monday at Boston, NBATV; 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Atlanta
———————————————
Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward
114–107 Saturday win vs. New York —
Didn’t play
G League season statistics for Texas Legends (Mavericks affiliate) —
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 — 7:30 p.m. Monday vs. Philadelphia, NBATV; 7:30 Wednesday vs. Cleveland
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
137–106 Sunday win vs. Charlotte —
21 minutes, 12 points, 5–12 FG, 2–6 3FG, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover, +12, 7.2 game score
Season statistics —
29 games, 10.3 points, 42.4 FG%, 40.9 3FG%, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Tuesday at Los Angeles Lakers, TNT; 9 p.m. Thursday vs. Oklahoma City
———————————————
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
125–116 Friday win vs. Charlotte —
Started; 30 minutes, 3 points, 1–4 FG, 0–2 3FG, 1–2 FT, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 3 turnovers, +7, 6.5 game score
105–100 Sunday win at Memphis — Started; 36 minutes, 12 points, 4–8 FG, 0–2 3FG, 4–5 FT, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, +3, 14.2 game score
Season statistics — 27 games, 8.5 points, 47.7 FG%, 30.0 3P%, 75.9 FT%, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assist
Up next — 8 p.m. Tuesday at New Orleans; 10 p.m. Thursday vs. Brooklyn
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
100–93 Saturday loss vs. Orlando —
Didn’t play; in NBA’s health-and-safety protocols
Sunday vs. Denver — Postponed
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 — 7:30 Tuesday vs. Washington, TNT; 10 p.m. Thursday at Portland
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
115–110 Sunday win vs. Los Angeles Lakers —
24 minutes, 5 points, 2–7 FG, 0–4 3FG, 1–2 FT, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, -4, 1.4 game score
Season statistics — 10 games, 6.0 points, 34.3 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists
Up next — 8 p.m. Monday vs. Houston; 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Toronto
———————————————
In G League
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard
111–99 win
vs. Long Island Nets — Started; 38 minutes, 12 points, 3–9 FG, 2–4 3FG, 2–4 FT, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, +15
Season statistics —
13 games, 15.1 points, 43.4 FG%, 40.6 3FG%, 88.5 FT%, 6.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.2 steals
Up next — 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, Dec. 29 at Cleveland (Cavaliers affiliate)
———————————————

Photo via @chicagobulls

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