Tar Heels in NBA: Johnson helps Suns stuff Pelicans; Bullock hits 15 in Mavs loss

By R.L. Bynum

The Phoenix Suns, with the league’s best record during the regular season, had no problem with the New Orleans Pelicans in their playoff opener, highlighted by Cam Johnson’s thunderous, highlight-reel first-quarter dunk.

Johnson, a finalist for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year, came off the bench to score 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting as the No. 1-seed Suns beat the No. 8-seed Pelicans 110–98 in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference series.

It was announced Sunday that Johnson is one of three finalists for the award, along with Miami’s Tyler Herro and Cleveland’s Kevin Love.

It was in the first quarter that he brought down the house in Phoenix when he caught a lob pass from Torrey Craig with one hand and threw down an emphatic dunk in one motion.

More importantly, Johnson looked like he was fully recovered from the quad injury that sidelined him for 13 games late, after averaging only 8.6 points in playing the final six games of the regular season.

The Pelicans, who advanced to the playoffs with a victory Friday in Los Angeles against the Clippers, cut a 23-point deficit to eight by the end of the third quarter. But the Suns, who were 47–0 during the regular season when leading after three quarters, wouldn’t let New Orleans get much closer.


Reggie Bullock had a productive Game 1 of Dallas’ series with Utah with 15 points, six rebounds and two steals while playing tough defense. But, playing without Luka Doncic (left calf strain), the Jazz took a 99–93 road victory.

Bullock was 3 of 8 from 3-point range but missed a 3-point attempt with 17.3 seconds left and the Mavericks trailing by four.

Theo Pinson was cheering on the Mavericks from the sideline but wasn’t active or in uniform for the game.

Game 2 is Monday night at 8:30 (NBATV). Doncic is listed as doubtful for the game.

“We’re in a great mood,” Bullock said Sunday. “Our mindset on Game 2 is to pull out a W. They are overly tall humans, so just trying to keep them out of the paint and get those loose balls.”


Coby White’s Chicago Bulls, the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, kept the game close against the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, the No. 3 seed, but lost 93–96 in Milwaukee on Sunday. White scored 12 points and two 3-pointers and pulled down two rebounds.

Tony Bradley didn’t play for Chicago (coach’s decision).


Danny Green was only 1 of 6 from the floor, missed all five 3-point field goal attempts and finished with two points and three rebounds. But plenty of other factors went well for No. 4-seed Philadelphia in a 131–111 home victory over the No. 5-seed Toronto Raptors in Saturday’s opener of their series, which resumes Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

It was the 13th game this season that Green has scored two or fewer points and the 21st with one field goal or fewer.


Day’Ron Sharpe didn’t play (coach’s decision) in Brooklyn’s 115–114 Game 1 loss Sunday at Boston. Sharpe hasn’t played in an NBA game since Feb. 28.

Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
93–86
Game 1 Sunday loss at Milwaukee — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Regular-season statistics —
55 games, 3.0 points, 58.5 FG%, 65.5 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Up next — Game 2, first-round series: 9:30 Wednesday at Milwaukee, TNT
Series scores, schedule
Sunday: Milwaukee 93, Chicago 86
Wednesday at Milwaukee, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Friday at Chicago, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Sunday, April 24 at Chicago, 1 p.m., ABC
x — Wednesday, April 27 at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD
x — Friday, April 29 at Chicago, TBD, TBD
x — Sunday, May 1 at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
99–93
Game 1 loss Saturday vs. Utah — Started; 44 minutes, 15 points, 5–10 FG, 3–8 3FG, 2–2 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 turnover, -12, 12.3 game score
Regular-season statistics —
68 games, 8.6 points, 40.1 FG%, 36.0 3P%, 83.3 FT%, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Series scores, schedule
Saturday: Utah 99, Dallas 93
Monday at Dallas, 8:30 p.m., NBATV
Thursday at Utah, 9 p.m., NBATV
Saturday, April 23 at Utah, 4:30 p.m., TNT
x — Monday, April 25: Utah at Dallas, TBD, TBD
x — Thursday, April 28: Dallas at Utah, TBD, TBD
x — Saturday, April 30: Utah at Dallas, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
131–111 Game 1 Saturday win vs. Toronto —
Started; 22 minutes, 2 points, 1–6 FG, 0–5 3FG, 3 rebounds, +12, -0.9 game score
Regular-season statistics —
62 games, 5.9 points, 39.4 FG%, 38.0 3FG%, 20–24 FT, 2.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Series scores, schedule
Saturday: Philadelphia 131, Toronto 111
Monday at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m., TNT
Wednesday at Toronto, 8 p.m., NBATV
Saturday at Toronto, 2 p.m., TNT
x — Monday, April 25 at Philadelphia, TBD, TBD
x — Thursday, April 28 at Toronto, TBD, TBD
x — Saturday, April 30 at Philadelphia, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
110–98 Game 1 Sunday win vs. New Orleans —
23 minutes, 13 points, 5–6 FG, 1–2 3FG, 2–3 FT, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers, +3, 7.9 game score
Regular-season statistics —
66 games, 12.5 points, 46.0 FG%, 42.5 3FG%, 86.0 FT%, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Series scores, schedule
Sunday: Phoenix 110, New Orleans 99
Tuesday at Phoenix, 10 p.m., TNT
Friday at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Sunday, April 24 at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m., TNT
x —Tuesday, April 26: New Orleans at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
x —Thursday, April 28: Phoenix at New Orleans, TBD, TBD
x —Saturday, April 30: New Orleans at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard
99–93
Game 1 loss Saturday vs. Utah — Not active for the game
Regular-season 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
Series scores, schedule
Saturday: Utah 99, Dallas 93
Monday at Dallas, 8:30 p.m., NBATV
Thursday at Utah, 9 p.m., NBATV
Saturday, April 23 at Utah, 4:30 p.m., TNT
x — Monday, April 25: Utah at Dallas, TBD, TBD
x — Thursday, April 28: Dallas at Utah, TBD, TBD
x — Saturday, April 30: Utah at Dallas, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
115–114
Game 1 Sunday loss at Boston — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Regular-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
Series scores, schedule
Sunday: Boston 115, Brooklyn 114
Wednesday at Boston, 7 p.m., TNT
Saturday at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Monday, April 25 at Brooklyn, TBD, TBD
x — Wednesday, April 27 at Boston, TBD, TBD
x — Friday, April 29: Boston at Brooklyn, TBD, TBD
x — Sunday, May 1: Brooklyn at Boston, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard
93–86
Game 1 Sunday loss at Milwaukee — 23 minutes, 12 points, 5–10 FG, 2–6 3FG, 4 rebounds, +4, 7.8 game score
Regular-season statistics —
61 games, 12.7 points, 43.3 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 86.7 FT%, 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists
Series scores, schedule
Sunday: Milwaukee 93, Chicago 86
Wednesday at Milwaukee, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Friday at Chicago, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Sunday, April 24 at Chicago, 1 p.m., ABC
x — Wednesday, April 27 at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD
x — Friday, April 29 at Chicago, TBD, TBD
x — Sunday, May 1 at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————

Photo via @Suns

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s