Tar Heels in NBA: Bullock’s career-best playoff game, tough defense help Mavs force Game 7; Green suffers severe knee injury, his 76ers ousted

By R.L. Bynum

Danny Green’s season came to a painful end early in the Philadelphia 76ers’ season-ending loss Thursday, but Reggie Bullock made sure to extend his Dallas Mavericks’ season with his best career playoff game.

After going scoreless on five shots in Tuesday’s 110–80 Dallas Game 5 loss at Phoenix, Bullock collected 19 points, five 3-pointers, seven rebounds and two steals in Thursday’s 113–86 home victory to force a Game 7 on Sunday in Phoenix.

“We got some dogs over here,” Bullock said. “This team has been grinding out all season. Pretty sure nobody has got us winning Game 7 but we just keep our heads down. Keep working on believing in our abilities that we put on both ends of the floor, believing in the coaching staff. The fans give us a lot of energy at home and we just came out and pulled it out tonight.”

Bullock’s 15.8 game score was the best of his playoff career, topping the 14.5 in his 15-point effort in Game 3 of the series, and that doesn’t account for his excellent defense.

After primarily guarding Chris Paul most of the series, Bullock — with help from Dorian Finney-Smith — mostly defended Devin Booker.

“I knew we were going to make some adjustments,” Bullock said. “It’s just another assignment for me. He’s a good player, a tough player; I just tried to make things tough on him.”

Booker was held to 19 points and he tied a career-high with eight turnovers. Bullock forced Booker to miss his first three second-half attempts.

“Reggie was great tonight,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s been great all series for us. Again, we’ve asked him to guard everybody and he’s been up to the challenge. We started him on Book just to see what would happen there, just to make it tough.”

The Suns had cut their deficit to 14 in the last minute of the first half when Bullock got a steal and a transition 3-pointer.

Booker briefly acted as if he was injured in Game 5 and mocked Dallas star Luka Dončić by calling it a “Luka special.” Bullock came to the defense of Dončić, who scored 33 points in Game 6.

“He’s a great player, a tough player,” Bullock said. “I laugh at it when they try to guard him. I mean, they’re going to try to do the same thing to him, bring him up in every pick and roll. But when we get the switch, we know it’s a bucket every time.

ADVERTISEMENT

“And I don’t know about the switches with [Suns stars], to get a bucket every time. But I just know we’re going to try to back him up,” Bullock said. “That’s our teammate. He’s going to hold us down on the offensive end and give his best on the defensive end. It’s about a team being able to take his back and not let nobody talk junk to our superstar.”

Dončić praised Bullock as well.

“He’s a great shooter, a great defender,” Dončić said. “He helps us a lot. When he doesn’t score, his defense, you can’t see it on the stat sheet, but he helps us a lot in every game.”

The Suns’ Cameron Johnson had 14 points, two rebounds, two steals and a block in 25 minutes of their win Tuesday. But after scoring five field goals Tuesday, he got off only five shots Thursday, finishing with five points, one 3-pointer and three rebounds. It was his lowest scoring output of the series.


After making his only 3-point attempt in the first three minutes of Thursday’s 99–90 Game 5 Philadelphia home loss to the Miami Heat, teammate Joel Embiid fell on Green’s left leg and Green tumbled to the floor. He suffered a severe left knee injury, grabbed his leg, was carried to the dressing room and didn’t return.

The Sixers said Friday that Green, who turns 35 next month, tore his left ACL and LCL. Sixers fans were chanting his name as he was carried off and gasped as the replay was shown on the video boards.

In Tuesday’s 120–85 Heat win in Miami, Green made half of his 3-point attempts but only got four shots and finished with six points, two rebounds, an assist and a block.

It’s the 12th consecutive 76ers playoff appearance that’s fallen short of the conference finals, the fourth-longest in NBA history.

Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
110–80 Game 5 Tuesday loss at Phoenix —
Started; 35 minutes, 0 points, 0–5 FG, 0–3 3FG, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 turnover, -19, -0.6 game score
113–86 Game 6 Thursday win vs. Phoenix — Started; 40 minutes, 19 points, 7–15 FG, 5–11 3FG, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, +15, 15.8 game score
Playoff statistics —
12 games, 10.7 points, 42.0 FG%, 39.5 3P%, 90.9 FT%, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 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
Dallas 103, Phoenix 94
Dallas 111, Phoenix 101
Tuesday: Phoenix 110, Dallas 80
Thursday: Dallas 113, Phoenix 86; series tied at 3
Sunday at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
———————————————
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
120–85 Game 5 Tuesday loss at Miami —
Started; 21 minutes, 6 points, 2–4 FG, 2–4 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 3 turnovers, -18, 1.4 game score
99–90 Game 6 Thursday loss vs. Miami Started; 3 minutes, 3 points, 1–1 FG, 1 steal, 1 foul, =/- of 0, 3.3 game score
Playoff statistics — 12 games, 8.6 points, 40.4 FG%, 40.8 3FG%, 3.1 rebounds, 0.8 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
Philadelphia 99, Miami 79
Philadelphia 116, Miami 108
Miami 120, Philadelphia 85
Thursday: Miami 99, Philadelphia 90; Heat wins series 4–2
———————————————
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
110–80 Game 5 Tuesday win vs. Dallas —
25 minutes, 14 points, 5–8 FG, 1–4 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, +17, 11.6 game score
113–86 Game 6 Thursday loss at Dallas — 20 minutes, 5 points, 1–5 FG, 1–3 3FG, 2–2 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, -14, 3.5 game score
Playoff statistics — 12 games, 10.7 points, 46.2 FG%, 36.4 3FG%, 78.6 FT%, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 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
Dallas 103, Phoenix 94
Dallas 111, Phoenix 101
Tuesday: Phoenix 110, Dallas 80
Thursday: Dallas 113, Phoenix 86; series tied at 3
Sunday at Phoenix, TBD, TBD

———————————————
Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard
110–80 Game 5 Tuesday loss at Phoenix and 113–86 Game 6 Thursday win vs. Phoenix —
Not active for either 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
Dallas 103, Phoenix 94
Dallas 111, Phoenix 101
Tuesday: Phoenix 110, Dallas 80
Thursday: Dallas 113, Phoenix 86; series tied at 3
Sunday at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
———————————————

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