Tar Heels in NBA: Pinson, after perfect shooting night and season-best game, says his Mavs can win it all; season-highs for Ellington, Bradley

By R.L. Bynum

Although it’s been a tough season for Theo Pinson personally, playing sparingly and then battling an injury the last couple of months, his Dallas Mavericks have thrived.

His regular season ended impressively, though, with a perfect shooting night, scoring a season-high 16 points in the Mavericks’ regular-season-ending 130–120 home win Sunday over the San Antonio Spurs.

“Man, it means a lot,” said Pinson, who made all five field-goal attempts and both free-throw tries. “Being out so long, and then Coach [Jason] Kidd trusting me to put me in a game, give me that opportunity? I appreciate it a lot. It was fun getting out there playing in front of a big-time crowd.”

Pinson scored a career-high four 3-pointers and tied his career-high with five field goals in 13 minutes. It was his best scoring output since a 19-point game for Brooklyn against New York on Jan. 25, 2019. Pinson’s game score of 13.8 was his best since a 15.7 in that 2019 game.

Pinson missed several weeks with a right fifth finger fracture and hadn’t played since Feb. 8 before seeing action in the last three regular-season games. During that time out, though, he welcomed the birth of his daughter, Alana Capri Pinson, on March 17.

Ever the motivator and unofficial coach on the sideline, Pinson says that Dallas can win the NBA title.

“Sky’s the limit,” said Pinson, who pulled down his 100th career defensive rebound in the game. “We stay locked in defensively and we just play together; we can win this thing. I’m just being brutally honest. So we can win this thing. We’ve got everything we need. Everyone’s together on and off the court and that’s what you need on a championship team.”

Pinson joined the team a few days before Christmas before Dallas lost to Sacramento to fall to 16–18. Since then, the Mavericks are 36–12 and he’s seen a different team.

How have they done it?

“Togetherness, trusting each other and having accountability with each other. I’m a firm believer in off the court is even more important than on the court. You get along off the court and call each other out,” said Pinson of letting teammates know when there are areas they need to improve. “If we’re able to have those conversations and nobody takes it personally, that’s what happens.”

Reggie Bullock had four points, three rebounds and two assists in the game.

Dallas (52–30) hosts Game 1 of its first-round series against Utah at 1 p.m. Saturday (ESPN). The Mavs could be without Luka Doncic, though, who strained his left calf Sunday.

During a season in which the Los Angeles Lakers struggled and Wayne Ellington wasn’t given many chances to show what he can do, it ended successfully for both.

Ellington scored a season-high 18 points and four 3-pointers Sunday as the Lakers finished their season at 33–49 with a 146–141 win at Denver. Ellington put up a season-high 13.9 game score, his best since a 14.8 last season for Detroit on April 11 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Tony Bradley collected a season-high 11 points and eight rebounds in Chicago’s 124–110 Sunday victory at Minnesota. Bradley played nearly 15 minutes, the most playing time he’s gotten since Jan. 30. It was his best scoring game since a 13-point night for Oklahoma City against Golden State on April 14, 2021.

Coby White missed the game with a sprained left toe, the same injury that forced Cole Anthony to miss the last three games of Orlando, which finished the season 22–60 after a 122–111 win Sunday over Miami.

Chicago will visit Milwaukee in Game 1 of their first-round series on Sunday.

After scoring 15 points and four 3-pointers with four rebounds, three assists and three steals in Philadelphia’s 133–120 Saturday win against Indiana, Green went scoreless for the 10th time this season in Sunday’s 118–106 win against Detroit.


The Sixers play Game 1 of their first-round series against Toronto at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN).

Harrison Barnes finished his season with back-to-back single-digit scoring games for the first time all season. He had three points in Saturday night’s 117–98 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and two points in Sunday’s 116–109 win at Phoenix as the Kings finished the season 30–52.

In the loss for the Suns, Cameron Johnson collected 12 points and seven rebounds. Phoenix, which finished with the league’s best record at 64–18, plays Game 1 of its first-round series at home on Sunday against a team that emerges from the play-in tournament, either New Orleans, San Antonio, Minnesota or the Los Angeles Clippers.

(Saturday and Sunday)
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
125–111 Sunday win vs. Miami
Missed last three games with a sprained left toe
Season statistics
— 64 games, 16.6 points, 39.3 FG%, 33.9 3FG%, 85.4 FT%, 5.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists
Season over;Magic finishes 22–60, 15th in the Eastern Conference———————————————
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
117–98 Saturday loss at Los Angeles Clippers —
Started; 26 minutes, 3 points, 1–4 FG, 1–3 3FG, 0–2 FT, 5 rebounds, -13, 1.3 game score
116–109 Sunday win at Phoenix Started; 13 minutes, 2 points, 1–2 FG, 1 rebound, 1 assist, +11, 2.0 game score
Season statistics — 77 games, 16.4 points, 46.9 FG%, 39.4 3FG%, 82.6 FT%, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Season over;Kings finish 30–52, 12th in the Western Conference
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
124–120 Sunday win at Minnesota
15 minutes, 11 points, 5–8 FG, 1–2 FT, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 3 turnovers, +3, 8.6 game score
Season statistics —
55 games, 3.0 points, 58.5 FG%, 65.5 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Up next — Game 1, first-round series Sunday at Milwaukee, TBD
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
130–120 Sunday win vs. San Antonio
Started; 27 minutes, 4 points, 1–6 FG, 1–3 3FG, 1–1 FT, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, +16, 0.7 game score
Season statistics — 68 games, 8.6 points, 40.1 FG%, 36.0 3P%, 83.3 FT%, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Up next —
Game 1, first-round series: 1 p.m. Saturday vs. Utah, ESPN
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
Sunday win vs. Milwaukee Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics —
31 games, 0.9 of a point, 68.8 FG%, 42.9 FT%, 2.1 rebounds, 0.2 of an assist
Up next — Play-in tournament game: 7 p.m. Tuesday at Brooklyn, TNT
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
146–141 Sunday win at Denver
30 minutes, 18 points, 6–10 FG, 4–8 3FG, 2–2 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 block, -8, 13.9 game score
Season statistics — 44 games, 6.7 points, 41.4 FG%, 38.9 3FG%, 7–12 FT, 1.8 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Season over;Lakers finish 33–49, 11th in the Western Conference
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
133–120 Saturday win vs. Indiana
Started; 28 minutes, 15 points, 5–11 FG, 4–10 3FG, 1–1 FT, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, +17, 14.9 game score
118–106 Sunday win vs. Detroit — Started; 20 minutes, 0 points, 0–2 FG, 0–2 3FG, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers, -9, 1.4 game score
Season statistics — 62 games, 5.9 points, 39.4 FG%, 38.0 3FG%, 20–24 FT, 2.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Up next — Game 1, first-round series: 6 p.m. Saturday vs. Toronto, ESPN
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
116–109 Sunday loss vs. Sacramento
23 minutes, 12 points, 4–9 FG, 1–5 3FG, 3–3 FT, 7 rebounds, 2  assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers, -3, 9.9 game score
Season statistics —
66 games, 12.5 points, 46.0 FG%, 42.5 3FG%, 86.0 FT%, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Up next — Game 1, first-round series at home Sunday vs. New Orleans, San Antonio, Minnesota or Los Angeles Clippers, time TBD
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers wing
Missed second half of 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
130–120 Sunday win vs. San Antonio —
13 minutes, 16 points, 5–5 FG, 4–4 3FG, 2–2 FT, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, -7, 13.8 game score
NBA season statistics —
19 games, 2.5 points, 35.9 FG%, 33.3 3FG%, 10–10 FT, 1.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists
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 — Game 1, first-round series: 1 p.m. Saturday vs. Utah, ESPN
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
134–126 Sunday win vs. Indiana —
Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season NBA statistics —
32 games, 6.2 points, 57.7 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 58.5% FT, 5.0 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
G League statistics (2021 part of season) — 4 games, 18.0 points, 47.8 FG%, 33.33P%, 85.7 FT%, 9.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 2.6 blocks
G League statistics (2022 part of season) — 10 games, 18.8 points, 51.0 FG%, 33.3 3FG%, 40.0 FT%, 13.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists
Up next — Play-in tournament game: 7 p.m. Tuesday vs. Cleveland, TNT
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
124–120 win Sunday at Minnesota
Missed game with a sprained left toe
Season statistics —
61 games, 12.7 points, 43.3 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 86.7 FT%, 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists
Up next — Game 1, first-round series Sunday at Milwaukee, TBD
In the G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends forward
Season over
NBA season statistics — 7 games, 2.1 points, 33.3% FG, 33.3% 3FG, 1.0 rebounds, 0.3 of an assist
G League statistics (2022 part of season) — 28 games, 22.1 points, 41.5% FG, 36.3% 3FG, 88.2 FT%, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists
G League statistics (2021 part of season) — 10 games, 22.7 points, 47.3% FG, 41.4% 3FG, 79.2 FT%, 7.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals 


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