Tar Heels in NBA: Johnson hits 23, has big overall game in Suns loss; Bullock scores 12 as Mavs rally by Warriors

By R.L. Bynum

Without point guard Chris Paul, league-leading Phoenix is finding it tougher to win. Cameron Johnson is trying to do his part as a starter in Paul’s absence but it hasn’t been easy for the Suns.

Johnson collected 23 points, four rebounds and five assists in Phoenix’s 118–114 Sunday home loss to Utah after the Suns lost at home to New Orleans on Friday. It’s the first time the Suns have lost back-to-back games since December.

Johnson’s 22.0 game score was second only this season to the 24.9 he put up in a 21-point, 9-rebound game against Oklahoma City on Dec. 23. He has four game scores of at least 20 this season after not doing it once in his first two seasons.

The 23 points were one off his career-high set Jan. 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers and the five assists tied his career-high, which he also equaled Thursday against Oklahoma City.

Johnson’s four 3-pointers gave him 15 games with at least four after doing it four times last season and six times during his rookie season.

Paul is out with an avulsion fracture of his right thumb and is expected to miss at least six more weeks.

Phoenix (49–12) still leads Golden State by six games for the league’s best record.


Helping the Suns maintain that lead was Reggie Bullock’s Dallas Mavericks (36–25), who rallied from 21 down to win at Golden State 107–101.

Bullock started for his seventh consecutive game, scoring 12 points and four 3-pointers in addition to collecting four rebounds and two blocks. It was Bullock’s 12th game with at least four 3-pointers.

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Theo Pinson is still out with a fracture of his right fifth finger and hasn’t played in the Mavs’ last six games.


The Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles continue, and they were booed off the court by their home crowd after a 123–95 loss to New Orleans. It was their second consecutive loss and fifth in the last six games to fall to a season-worst six games under .500 at 27–33.

The only plus for Wayne Ellington is that he played 18 minutes, the most playing time he’s gotten since Dec. 23. Since then, there were 16 games when he never got off the bench.

Sunday, he scored nine points on 3 of 8 shooting from 3-point range and had two rebounds and a steal. He reached the 1,200 career 3-pointers plateau in the game.


In Philadelphia’s 125–109 victory at New York, Danny Green had two points, two rebounds and a steal in 15 minutes.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
Off Sunday
Season statistics —
47 games, 17.6 points, 39.9 FG%, 33.9 3FG%, 85.6 FT%, 5.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Monday vs. Indiana; 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Indiana
———————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
Off Sunday
Season statistics — 57 games, 17.1 points, 46.7 FG%, 40.9 3FG%, 83.3 FT%, 6.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists
Up next —  8 p.m. Monday at Oklahoma City;  8 p.m. Wednesday at New Orleans
———————————————
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
Off Sunday
Season statistics — 45 games, 3.1 points, 57.9 FG%, 66.7 FT%, 3.7 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Up next — 7:30 Monday at Miami; 7 p.m. Thursday at Atlanta
———————————————
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
107–101 win at Golden State —
Started; 34 minutes, 12 points, 4–8 FG, 4–8 3FG, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, -10, 8.0 game score
Season statistics —
51 games, 8.3 points, 41.6 FG%, 36.9 3P%, 85.7 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist
Up next —
10 p.m. Tuesday at Los Angeles Lakers, TNT; 8:30 Thursday vs. Golden State
———————————————
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
Off Sunday
Season statistics — 19 games, 1.1 points, 64.3 FG%, 37.5 FT%, 2.3 rebounds, 0.3 of an assist
Up next — 7 p.m. Monday vs. Minnesota; 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Charlotte, BSSE
———————————————
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
123–95 loss vs. New Orleans —
18 minutes, 9 points, 3–8 FG, 3–8 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, -6, 6.2 game score
Season statistics — 36 games, 6.2 points, 39.2 FG%, 38.4 3FG%, 4–5 FT, 1.7 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Dallas, TNT; 10 p.m. Thursday at Los Angeles Clippers, TNT
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
125–109 win at New York —
15 minutes, 2 points, 1–2 FT, 0–1 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, -7, 1.8 games score
Season statistics — 42 games, 6.3 points, 40.0 FG%, 37.5 3FG%, 12–14 FT, 2.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist
Up next — 7:30 Wednesday vs. New York, ESPN; 7 p.m. Friday vs. Cleveland
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
118–114 loss vs. Utah —
Started; 35 minutes, 23 points, 7–11 FG, 4–6 3FG, 5–5 FT, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, +10, 22.0 game score
Season statistics —
58 games, 12.3 points, 46.5 FG%, 43.2 3FG%, 86.7 FT%, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Portland, ESPN; 10 p.m. Friday vs. New York, ESPN
———————————————
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
107–101 win at Golden State —
Missed game with fracture of right fifth finger
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 —
14 games, 15.7 points, 40.4 FG%, 38.6 3FG%, 84.8 FT%, 4.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.2 steals
Up next — 10 p.m. Tuesday at Los Angeles Lakers, TNT; 8:30 Thursday vs. Golden State
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
Off Sunday
Season NBA statistics — 31 games, 6.1 points, 57.3 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 58.5% FT, 4.9 rebounds, 0.5 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 — 7:30 Monday vs. Toronto; 7:30 Tuesday at Toronto
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
Off Sunday
Season statistics — 41 games, 13.9 points, 45.2 FG%, 40.1 3P%, 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists
Up next — 7:30 Monday at Miami; 7 p.m. Thursday at Atlanta
———————————————
In the G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends forward
Off Sunday
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 (2022) — 11 games, 23.1 points, 38.8% FG, 37.4% 3FG, 88.9 FT%, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists
Up next — 8:30 Tuesday at Austin Spurs; 7:30 Thursday at Sioux Falls Skyforce (Heat affiliate)
———————————————

Photo via @Suns

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