Tar Heels in NBA: White on roll, having fun after double-double in Bulls win; Johnson scores 12 in Suns victory; Barnes hits double figures in back-to-back wins

By R.L. Bynum

The early part of the season was no fun for Coby White. He missed the Chicago Bulls’ first 13 games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, then missed five more games earlier this month after testing positive for COVID-19.

Even when his season got going, he was coming off the bench behind point guard Lonzo Ball, who Chicago acquired in the offseason.

That’s all behind White now. He’s enjoying a fun ride and showing off his talent as a starter while Ball is in the NBA’s health-and-safety protocols.

In his third consecutive start, White collected 17 points and 12 assists for his first double-double of the season and sixth of his career in the Chicago Bulls’ second consecutive victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Wednesday’s 131–117 home win was the Bulls’ season-high fifth win in a row.

He scored 24 points on Dec. 20 against Houston and is averaging 15.5 points in the last four games.

“We’re all excited because we can do something special,” said White, whose team is 22–10 and has the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. “We are extremely good, well-coached and talented. We can play with anyone.”

It was White’s first double-digit assist game of the season, the fourth of his career and the most since he dished out a career-high 13 last season on Jan. 10 of last season at the Los Angeles Clippers.

“There’s not a game that goes by that we don’t believe we can win,” White said. “And we all believe in each other. At the end of the day, we’re just a team that has fun while playing basketball, and you can’t ask for a better team than that.”

White had three 3-pointers, three rebounds and a block.


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Cameron Johnson extended his career-high streak of double-figure scoring games to 14 with 12 points, two 3-pointers and six rebounds as Phoenix snapped a two-game losing streak with a 131–117 home victory Wednesday over Oklahoma City. He pulled down his 100th career offensive rebound in the game.


Harrison Barnes scored 17 points in Sacramento’s 117–111 home win Tuesday over Oklahoma City and 14 points in Wednesday’s 95–94 home victory over Dallas.

With seven 3-pointers in the two games, Barnes passed Doug Christie for 15th on the all-time Kings 3-pointers list with 319. Tuesday’s game was Barnes’ third this season with at least five 3-pointers. His season-high eight when he scored a season-high 36 points on Oct. 20 at Portland.

Reggie Bullock cleared NBA health-and-safety protocols but was held out of the Kings-Mavs game for what the Mavericks called conditioning reasons.

Theo Pinson was scoreless in seven minutes with two rebounds for Dallas.


In his eighth consecutive start, Nassir Little had two points, six rebounds, two blocks and two assists in Portland’s 120–105 home loss Wednesday to Utah.

(Tuesday and Wednesday)
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
127–110 Tuesday loss
vs. Milwaukee — Missed second consecutive game as he tries to recover from a right ankle sprain
Season statistics — 24 games, 20.0 points, 41.8 FG%, 35.4 3FG%, 87.5 FT%, 6.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Milwaukee; 6 p.m. Sunday at Boston
———————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
117–111
Tuesday win vs. Oklahoma City — Started; 31 minutes, 17 points, 5–11 FT, 5–9 3FG, 2–2 FT, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 turnovers, -10, 12.3 game score
95–94 Wednesday win vs. Dallas — Started; 33 minutes, 14 points, 4–10 FG, 2–4 3FG, 4–4 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, +7, 10.5 game score
Season statistics — 31 games, 17.2 points, 44.9 FG%, 41.0 3FG%, 84.1 FT%, 6.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Up next — 6 p.m. Friday vs. Dallas; 6 p.m. Sunday vs Miami  
———————————————
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
131–117
Wednesday win vs. Atlanta — Missed third consecutive game; Bradley on NBA health-and-safety protocols
Season statistics — 23 games, 3.7 points, 57.4 FG%, 4.4 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist
Up next — 3 p.m. Friday at Indiana; 7 p.m. Saturday at Washington
———————————————
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
95–94
Wednesday loss at Sacramento — Missed game; he came out of the NBA’s health-and-safety protocols but didn’t play for what the team called conditioning reasons
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 —
6 p.m. Friday at Sacramento; 7 p.m. Sunday at Oklahoma City
———————————————
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
108–104 Tuesday loss
at New Orleans — Missed third consecutive game; Davis is in NBA’s health-and-safety protocols
Season statistics —
11 games, 1.7 points, 75.0 FG%, 25.0 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 0.1 of an assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Thursday at Washington; 7:30 Friday vs. Atlanta
———————————————
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
132–123
Tuesday win at Houston — Missed game with illness that wasn’t COVID-19-related
104–99 Wednesday loss at Memphis — Was available but didn’t play
Season statistics —
26 games, 6.4 points, 37.8 FG%, 36.8 3FG%, 4–5 FT, 1.8 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist
Up next — 10:30 Friday vs. Portland, NBATV; 9:30 Sunday vs. Minnesota
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
114–109
Tuesday win at Toronto — Missed third consecutive game; Green in health-and-safety protocols
Season statistics — 24 games, 7.1 points, 40.6 FG%, 37.4 3FG%, 8–8 FT, 2.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Thursday at Brooklyn, NBATV; 7 p.m. Monday vs. Houston
———————————————
Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward
91–82
Wednesday loss vs. Los Angeles Clippers — Jackson in health-and-safety protocols
NBA season statistics —
1 game, 2 points, 0–1 FG, 2–2 FT
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 — 1 p.m. Friday vs. Phoenix; 6 p.m. Sunday vs. Orlando
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
115–97 Wednesday win vs. Oklahoma City —
Started; 23 minutes, 12 points, 5–10 FG, 2–5 3FG, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, -6, 8.5 game score
Season statistics — 34 games, 11.0 points, 44.5 FG%, 42.8 3FG%, 4.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 1 p.m. Friday at Boston; 7 p.m. Sunday at Charlotte
———————————————
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
120–105
Wednesday loss vs. Utah — Started; 23 minutes, 2 points, 1–3 FG, 0–2 3FG, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists, -6, 1.1 game score
Season statistics —
29 games, 8.7 points, 47.6 FG%, 29.2 3P%, 73.8 FT%, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assist
Up next — 10:30 p.m. Friday at Los Angeles Lakers, NBATV; 10 p.m. Monday vs. Atlanta
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard
95–94
Wednesday loss at Sacramento — 7 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2 rebounds, +2, 1.6 game score
NBA season statistics —
5 games, 5.0 points, 36.1 FG, 33.3 3FG, 4–4 FT, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assist
G League season statistics with Maine Celtics —
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. Friday at Sacramento; 7 p.m. Sunday at Oklahoma City
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
Off Tuesday and Wednesday; Sharpe in NBA’s health-and-safety protocolsSeason 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 p.m. Thursday vs. Philadelphia, NBATV; 7:30 Saturday vs. Los Angeles Clippers
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
131–117
Wednesday win vs. Atlanta — Started; 35 minutes, 17 points, 6–14 FG, 3–9 3FG, 2–4 FT, 3 rebounds, 12 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers, +13, 14.6 game score
Season statistics — 14 games, 8.7 points, 37.5 FG%, 28.1 3P%, 2.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists
Up next — 3 p.m. Friday at Indiana; 7 p.m. Saturday at Washington
———————————————

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