Tar Heels in NBA: Johnson’s big game helps Suns slam Bucks; Bullock, Sharpe play well; Suns release Jackson

By R.L. Bynum

When Cam Johnson drove past Jrue Holliday for an impressive one-handed slam to give Phoenix a 20-point lead over the Milwaukee Bucks, it was an exclamation point on a small bit of revenge for the Suns.

After losing to the Bucks in the NBA Finals last season, the 131–107 Phoenix win before a sellout crowd was as big as a regular-season victory can be for the Suns. They have the NBA’s best record at 45–10, by a 4½-game margin over Golden State.

Johnson scored 15 points and three 3-pointers, with eight rebounds and three assists for a 17.1 game score. That’s his sixth game score this season of at least 17 this season after doing it once in each of his first two seasons.

Johnson was 3 of 4 from 3-point range and is second in the league in 3-point-shooting percentage at 43.3%, behind only Miami’s P.J. Tucker (46.7%). Johnson shot a college career-high 45.7% for Carolina during his senior season in 2018–19.

The bad news from the day in Phoenix is that the Suns released Justin Jackson after the expiration of his second 10-day contract. In three games during his latest stint with the Suns, he was scoreless and 0 of 7 in just over 10 minutes. He’ll return to the G League’s Texas Legends.


In Reggie Bullock’s fourth consecutive start, he scored 11 points and two 3-pointers while pulling down four rebounds in Dallas’ 112–105 home victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, the fourth consecutive win for the Mavericks (33–23).

In the last six games, Bullock is averaging 18.3 points and 4.7 3-pointers while shooting 48.3 from 3-point range.

The starting forward combination of Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith has provided the Mavericks with lockdown defense.

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“It’s kind of cool that we can start that way to have Reggie and Dorian on the primary guys for the opponent,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “Those two have sent the tone and taken on that challenge.”

Bullock is doing everything to live up to the expectations the Mavericks had when they acquired him in the offseason.

Theo Pinson didn’t play against the Clippers.


On a day that included a blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia, the Brooklyn Nets lost 113–112 at Washington to extend their season-long losing streak to 10.

Day’Ron Sharpe nearly had a double-double with nine points, a season-high-tying 10 rebounds and two steals in 17 minutes for Brooklyn off the bench.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
Off Thursday
Season statistics —
42 games, 17.8 points, 39.2 FG%, 32.7 3FG%, 85.1 FT%, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists
Up next — 9 p.m. Friday at Utah; 9 p.m. Saturday at Phoenix
———————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
Off Thursday
Season statistics — 52 games, 17.1 points, 46.2 FG%, 41.2 3FG%, 82.9 FT%, 6.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Saturday at Washington; 7:30 Monday at Brooklyn
———————————————
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
Off Thursday
Season statistics — 41 games, 3.3 points, 58.1 FG%, 70.0 FT%, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Up next — 8 p.m. Friday vs. Minnesota; 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Oklahoma City
———————————————
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
112–105 win vs. Los Angeles Clippers —
Started; 36 minutes, 11 points, 3–7 FG, 2–6 3FG, 3–3 FT, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, +12, 8.0 game score
Season statistics —
48 games, 8.0 points, 41.2 FG%, 35.8 3P%, 85.7 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist
Up next —
8:30 Saturday vs. Los Angeles Clippers; 7:30 Tuesday at Miami
———————————————
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
Off Thursday
Season statistics — 18 games, 1.2 points, 64.3 FG%, 37.5 FT%, 2.4 rebounds, 0.2 of an assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Friday at Indiana; 7:30 Saturday at Philadelphia
———————————————
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
Off Thursday
Season statistics — 34 games, 6.3 points, 39.9 FG%, 39.2 3FG%, 4–5 FT, 1.7 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 8:30 Saturday at Golden State, ABC; 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Utah, ESPN
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
Off Thursday
Season statistics — 36 games, 6.8 points, 41.2 FG%, 38.6 3FG%, 12–14 FT, 2.6 rebounds, 1.0 assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Friday vs. Oklahoma City; 7:30 Saturday vs. Cleveland
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
131–107 win vs. Milwaukee —
26 minutes, 15 points, 6–8 FG, 3–4 3FG, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, +18, 17.1 game score
Season statistics —
52 games, 11.9 points, 46.1 FG%, 43.3 3FG%, 84.9 FT%, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 9 p.m. Saturday vs. Orlando; 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Los Angeles Clippers
———————————————
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
Is out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder
Season statistics 42 games, 9.8 points, 46.0 FG%, 33.1 3P%, 73.4 FT%, 5.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard
112–105 win vs. Los Angeles Clippers —
Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
NBA season statistics —
16 games, 1.8 points, 28.1 FG%, 24.0 3FG, 44 FT, 1.2 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist
G League season statistics —
13 games, 15.4 points, 40.6 FG%, 39.2 3FG%, 83.3 FT%, 4.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.2 steals
Up next — 8:30 Saturday vs. Los Angeles Clippers; 7:30 Tuesday at Miami
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
113–112 loss at Washington —
17 minutes, 9 points, 3–7 FG, 3–4 FT, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 10.9 game score
Season NBA statistics
27 games, 6.3 points, 55.6 FG%, 25.0 3P%, 61.8% FT, 5.2 rebounds, 0.4 of an assist
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 — 8 p.m. Saturday at Miami; 7:30 Monday vs. Sacramento
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
Off Thursday
Season statistics — 35 games, 12.9 points, 43.7 FG%, 36.2 3P%, 2.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists
Up next — 8 p.m. Friday vs. Minnesota; 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Oklahoma City
———————————————

In the G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends (Dallas Mavericks affiliate) forward
NBA season statistics —
7 games, 2.1 points, 33.3% FG, 33.3% 3FG, 1.0 rebounds, 0.3 of an assist
G League season statistics— 18 games, 23.3 points, 43.3% FG, 40.4% 3FG, 82.6 FT%, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists
Up next — 8 p.m. Friday vs. Agua Caliente Clippers; 10 p.m. Tuesday at Stockton Kings
———————————————

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