Tar Heels in NBA: Green, Bullock have huge nights in crucial home wins

By R.L. Bynum

Thanks to some career-best playoff numbers, Danny Green and Reggie Bullock helped their teams get badly needed conference semifinal home wins Friday to trim their series deficits to 2–1.

Green scored a team-high-tying 21 points and tied his career playoff-high with seven 3-pointers, his most in the postseason in eight years, in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 99–79 win over the Miami Heat. Bullock led the Dallas Mavericks on defense and put up a career playoff-high 14.5 game score with 15 points, four 3-pointers, four rebounds, two assists and three steals in their 103–94 victory over Cameron Johnson’s Phoenix Suns.

After one of the worst playoff shooting nights of his career in Game 2 (1 of 10), Green came through with his best point output in the playoffs since scoring 21 on May 21, 2014, for San Antonio against Portland, when he also scored seven 3-pointers. He also had seven 3-pointers on May 11, 2013, for the Spurs against Miami, when he scored a career playoff-high 27 points.

“Last game, I said it was on me. I didn’t help them at all on that end of the floor and I had to do a better job and luckily that worm turned for us and we got some good shots to drop tonight,” said Green, who watched the Netflix series “Ozark” to relax between games.

“It felt good to help my team and do my job,” Green said. “I’m not in any way shape or form satisfied. We know we’re not taking any deep breaths or exhaling. We know we have to win another game. So, we have to stay locked in and focus on taking one game at a time. Hopefully, keep that rhythm and have another decent shooting night on Sunday.”

Green made 6 of 7 3-point attempts in the first three quarters, with key shots to quell Miami runs to push Philadelphia’s leads to 54–50 and 57–51.

“We know they’re not going to shoot as poorly as they did tonight,” Green said. “We know we’re not going to shoot as great. So, we got to make sure we don’t turn the ball over and we’ve got to rebound. It’s going to be a dogfight. The next game is going to be tougher because they’re going to come out with more of an edge and more intensity.”

It was the most 3-pointers in a game for Green since he collected a career-high nine last season on Jan. 12, 2021, against Miami, and was his 11th career playoff game with at least five 3-pointers. His 15.5 game score was his second-best this season, topped only by the 17.7 in his 18-point game on April 7 at Toronto, when he got his 2020 championship ring.

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The return of Joel Embiid helped as well, as the masked All-Star scored 18.

“Even when he’s not his normal self, he helps us a ton,” Green said.


With UNC coach Hubert Davis, a former Dallas Mavericks player, in the arena, Bullock had another terrific game. Six of Bullock’s nine career double-figure scoring playoff games have come this season, including in the last two games after netting a career playoff-high 16 in Game 2 on Wednesday.

Bullock, who was reported as questionable at halftime with a rib injury, guarded Chris Paul (who turned 37 Friday) much of the first half when he had as many turnovers as points (7). Paul finished with 12 points as Bullock shadowed him from the opening tip.

Johnson struggled from the perimeter for the second consecutive game and scored a playoff-low six points for the Suns. He is 2 of 7 from 3-point range in the last two games after going 3 of 6 in Game 1.

Dallas’ Theo Pinson, who wasn’t active for this game and hasn’t played in the playoffs, wore a UNC letterman’s jacket on the sideline.

Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
103–94 Game 3 win vs. Phoenix —
Started; 41 minutes, 15 points, 5–11 FG, 4–10 3FG, 1–1 FT, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, -15, 14.5 game score
Playoff statistics —
9 games, 11.3 points, 44.6 FG%, 40.3 3P%, 90.0 FT%, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Regular-season statistics —
68 games, 8.6 points, 40.1 FG%, 36.0 3P%, 83.3 FT%, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Mavericks-Suns Western Conference semifinals

Phoenix 121, Dallas 114
Phoenix 129, Dallas 109
Friday: Dallas 103, Phoenix 94; Suns lead series 2–1
Sunday at Dallas, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Tuesday at Phoenix, 10 p.m., TNT
X — Thursday, May 12 at Dallas, TBD, TBD
X — Sunday, May 15 at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
X — If needed
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
99–79 Game 3 win vs. Miami —
Started; 34 minutes, 21 points, 7–9 FG, 7–9 3FG, 4 rebound, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, +17, 15.5 game score
Playoff statistics — 9 games, 9.2 points, 37.2 FG%, 37.3 3FG%, 3.7 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist
Regular-season statistics —
62 games, 5.9 points, 39.4 FG%, 38.0 3FG%, 20–24 FT, 2.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Heat-Sixers Eastern Conference semifinals
Miami 106, Philadelphia 98
Miami 119, Philadelphia 103
Friday: Philadelphia 99, Miami 79; Heat leads series 2–1
Sunday in Philadelphia, 8 p.m., TNT
Tuesday in Miami, 7:30 p.m., TNT
X — Thursday in Philadelphia, TBD, TBD
X — Sunday, May 15, in Miami, TBD, TBD
X — If needed
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
103–94 Game 3 loss at Dallas —
16 minutes, 6 points, 1–4 FG, 1–3 3FG, 3–3 FT, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, -2, 5.6 game score
Playoff statistics — 9 games, 10.9 points, 47.1 FG%, 36.6 3FG%, 77.3 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists
Regular-season statistics —
66 games, 12.5 points, 46.0 FG%, 42.5 3FG%, 86.0 FT%, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Mavericks-Suns Western Conference semifinals
Phoenix 121, Dallas 114
Phoenix 129, Dallas 109
Friday: Dallas 103, Phoenix 94; Suns lead series 2–1
Sunday at Dallas, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Tuesday at Phoenix, 10 p.m., TNT
X — Thursday, May 12 at Dallas, TBD, TBD
X — Sunday, May 15 at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
X — If needed
———————————————
Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard
103–94 Game 3 win vs. Phoenix —  
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
Mavericks-Suns Western Conference semifinals
Phoenix 121, Dallas 114
Phoenix 129, Dallas 109
Friday: Dallas 103, Phoenix 94; Suns lead series 2–1
Sunday at Dallas, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Tuesday at Phoenix, 10 p.m., TNT
X — Thursday, May 12 at Dallas, TBD, TBD
X — Sunday, May 15 at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
X — If needed
———————————————
Photo via @sixers

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