Tar Heels in NBA: Bullock playing best basketball of season as Mavericks win; bigger role likely for Johnson with Booker injury

By R.L. Bynum

With Luka Dončić (calf injury) out for the first three games of their first-round series with the Utah Jazz, Reggie Bullock has produced the best playoff efforts of his career for the Dallas Mavericks.

Bullock collected 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in 44 minutes Thursday as the Mavericks won Game 3 of their first-round series with the Jazz 126–118 in Utah to take a 2–1 lead. He has three 3-pointers in each of the three games.

“I just told the guys we haven’t done anything,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “They won at our place and now we won here. We need to put this game behind us and figure out what we need to do better.”

Bullock’s 13.1 game score was the best of his 12 career playoff games, topping the 12.3 in Game 1. His 11.9 in Game 2 is only bettered by the 12.2 for New York against Atlanta in Game 1 of a first-round series last season.

Bullock has scored in double figures and put up double-figure game scores in all three games. He last did both in three consecutive games in early February.

All of his playoff numbers are better than his regular-season numbers: 12.7 points vs. 8.6, 52.2% shooting vs. 40.1%, 47.4% shooting from 3-point range vs. 40.1%, 100% from the free-throw line vs. 83.3%, 5.3 rebounds vs. 3.5 and 2.7 assists vs. 1.2.

Jalen Brunson scored 31 points to lead Dallas.

Game 4 of the series in Utah is at 4:30 p.m. Saturday (TNT), and Dallas hopes Dončić will play in that game.


Another Tar Heel who will probably need to play well to compensate for a teammate’s injury is Cam Johnson. His Phoenix Suns teammate Devin Booker suffered a Grade 1 right hamstring strain and reportedly could miss two to three weeks.

Their series with the New Orleans Pelicans is tied at 1 as it shifts to New Orleans for the next two games, beginning with Game 3 at 9:30 Friday (ESPN).

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Johnson, a finalist for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, could be inserted into the starting lineup to match the Pelicans’ size but he could also continue to come off the bench if Coach Monty Williams opts to start Landry Shamet.

Shamet didn’t play in Phoenix’s 125–114 Tuesday Game 2 loss to New Orleans until Booker left the game with his injury.

Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
Off until Friday
Playoff statistics — Hasn’t played
Regular-season statistics —
55 games, 3.0 points, 58.5 FG%, 65.5 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Series scores, schedule
Last Sunday: Milwaukee 93, Chicago 86
Wednesday: Chicago 114, Milwaukee 110; series tied at 1
Friday at Chicago, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Sunday at Chicago, 1 p.m., ABC
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
126–118 Game 3 win at Utah —
Started; 44 minutes, 12 points, 3–6 FG, 3–6 3FG, 3–3 FT, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, +2, 13.1 game score
Playoff statistics — 3 games, 12.7 points, 52.2 FG%, 47.4 3P%, 4–4 FT, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists
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
Last Saturday: Utah 99, Dallas 93
Last Monday: Dallas 110, Utah 105
Thursday: Dallas 126, Utah 118; Mavericks lead series 2–1
Saturday at Utah, 4:30 p.m., TNT
Monday, April 25 at Dallas, 9:30, TNT
x — Thursday, April 28 at Utah, TBD, TBD
x — Saturday, April 30 at Dallas, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
Off until Saturday
Playoff statistics — 3 games, 7.3 points, 30.8 FG%, 28.6 3FG%, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists
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
Last Saturday: Philadelphia 131, Toronto 111
Last Monday: Philadelphia 112, Toronto 97
Wednesday: Philadelphia 104, Toronto 101; Sixers lead series 3–0
Saturday at Toronto, 2 p.m., TNT
x — Monday at Philadelphia, 8 p.m., NBATV
x — Thursday, April 28 at Toronto, TBD, TBD
x — Saturday, April 30 at Philadelphia, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
Off until Friday
Playoff statistics — 2 games, 12.0 points, 56.3 FG%, 25.0 3FG%, 57.1 FT%, 2.5 rebounds, 0 assists
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
Last Sunday: Phoenix 110, New Orleans 99
Last Tuesday: New Orleans 125, Phoenix 114; series tied at 1
Friday at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Sunday at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Tuesday at Phoenix, 10 p.m., TNT
x —Thursday, April 28 at New Orleans, TBD, TBD
x —Saturday, April 30 at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard
126–118 Game 3 win at Utah —
Not active for game
Playoff statistics — Hasn’t played
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
Last Saturday: Utah 99, Dallas 93
Last Monday: Dallas 110, Utah 105
Thursday: Dallas 126, Utah 118; Mavericks lead series 2–1
Saturday at Utah, 4:30 p.m., TNT
Monday, April 25 at Dallas, 9:30, TNT
x — Thursday, April 28 at Utah, TBD, TBD
x — Saturday, April 30 at Dallas, TBD, TBD
x — If needed
———————————————
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
Off until Saturday
Playoff statistics — 1 game, 0 points
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
Last Sunday: Boston 115, Brooklyn 114
Wednesday:  Boston 114, Brooklyn 107; Celtics lead series 2–0
Saturday at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Monday at Brooklyn, 7 p.m., TNT
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
Off until Friday
Playoff statistics —
2 games, 8.5 points, 40.0 FG%, 42.9 3FG%, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists
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
Last Sunday: Milwaukee 93, Chicago 86
Wednesday: Chicago 114, Milwaukee 110; series tied at 1
Friday at Chicago, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Sunday at Chicago, 1 p.m., ABC
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
———————————————

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