Tar Heels in NBA: Anthony has big game in season debut; White hits 10, Little 9; tough game for Johnson

By R.L. Bynum

Cole Anthony missed Orlando’s opener on Wednesday because he felt sick but to say that he was doing fine on Friday night would be an understatement.

He matched Atlanta star Trae Young’s scoring output with 25 points in the Magic’s 108–98 Friday road loss to the Hawks, but they had contrasting games. Anthony came off the bench hot with 17 points in 12 first-half minutes while Young went scoreless in the first half.

Cole Anthony and Trae Young both scored a game-high 25 points on Friday night.

Anthony finished 8 of 12 from the floor, 4 of 5 from 3-point range and 5 of 7 on the free-throw line.

“I just saw some opportunities to attack,” Anthony said while wearing an ice pack over his left shoulder during the postgame press conference. “I want to be aggressive, so I was just in attack mode, saw some on some seams that were created by my teammates, and I was able to get in there and convert. Happy just to get going; nice to get my first game of the season out the way.”

Anthony’s 3-pointer gave Orlando an 84–80 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Atlanta quickly grabbed the momentum and a 90–86 advantage.

“I think our energy kind of faded as we got to that fourth quarter,” Anthony said. “They started picking us apart, taking advantage of that and that’s when they were able to get so many open looks. We, as a team, have to stay locked in.”

Second-year former Gonzaga star Jalen Suggs, who has started at point guard in both games for Orlando (0–2), left in the third quarter Friday after spraining his right ankle. Given that injury, Anthony figures to start Orlando’s home opener Saturday against Boston.

Anthony isn’t used to coming off the bench and said that it was an adjustment.

“It was a little different. I tried to go in the back a minute or two into the game,” Anthony said, knowing when he was going to enter the game. “I just tried to just get myself going on the sidelines, working up a sweat on the sidelines, just trying to get my body ready to go.”

Anthony put up a 19.7 game score. Last season, he had eight games with a score at least that high, with a season-best of 29.8 in a 29-point game at New York on Oct. 24, 2021. He had only two game scores higher than that during his rookie season.


Coby White scored 10 points and two 3-pointers with three rebounds in 31 minutes of Chicago’s 102–100 loss at Washington. White leads the 1–1 Bulls in plus/minus at +8.5 through two games.

White scored seven of nine Bulls points during a stretch of a little over two minutes in the fourth quarter, capped with a 27-foot 3-pointer to cut their deficit to 85–83 with 8:45 left.

White was inserted into the game for the Bulls’ final play, but DeMar DeRozan missed a would-be game-winning 3-point attempt with two seconds left.

For the second time in two games, Tony Bradley didn’t play (coach’s decision) for Chicago.

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In a battle of Tar Heels, Nassir Little’s 2–0 Portland Trail Blazers earned a 113–111 home overtime victory over Cameron Johnson’s Phoenix Suns (1–1).

Phoenix built a 12-point lead in the first half, but Portland rallied and tied it at 79 early in the fourth quarter on Little’s pull-up jumper.

Little scored nine points and a 3-pointer with a rebound, a steal and an 8.4 game score in 13 minutes.

Johnson scored five points in an early 10–0 Phoenix run to give the Suns a 19–9 lead, but those were the only points he scored all night. In 23 minutes, he was 2 of 9 from the floor and 1 of 6 from 3-point range with three rebounds, two assists and two steals, for a 1.8 game score.

Johnson went to the dressing room in the middle of the game and returned. He practiced Saturday, but the team said that he’s dealing with a right hip contusion.


Walker Kessler had six points, five rebounds and four blocks in Utah’s 132–126 overtime victory at Minnesota. At one point, he blocked consecutive shots. The Jazz is 2–0.


Day’Ron Sharpe contributed four points, seven rebounds and a block in Brooklyn’s 109–105 home victory over the Toronto Raptors. With Nic Claxton (19 points, 11 rebounds) starting ahead of him and playing 34 minutes, Sharpe only played 10 minutes.

Sharpe had a productive five-minute stretch for the 1–1 Nets with four points and five rebounds, finishing at the basket and looking good on pick-and-roll plays.


In Boston’s 111–104 victory at Miami, Justin Jackson was one of six reserves who didn’t play as the 2–0 Celtics used a nine-player rotation, with only six players playing more than 25 minutes.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard

Age 22 | 6–3, 185 | third NBA season | UNC 2019–20 (1 season)

108–98 Friday loss at Atlanta (season debut) — 29 minutes, 25 points, 8–12 FG, 4–5 3FG, 5–7 FT, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, -1, 19.7 game score
Next games — 7 p.m. Saturday vs. Boston; 7:30 Monday at New York, NBATV
———————————————

Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward

Age 30 | 6–8, 225 | 11th NBA season | UNC 2010–12 (2 seasons)

Off Thursday and Friday
Season statistics (1 game) — 31 minutes, 9 points, 4–8 FG, 0–2 3FG, 1–2 FT, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, -6
Next games 10 p.m. Saturday vs. L.A. Clippers; 8:30 Sunday at Golden State
———————————————

Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center

Age 24 | 6–10, 248 | sixth NBA season | UNC 2016–17 (1 season)

102–100 Friday loss at Washington — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics
Didn’t play in either game
Next games 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Cleveland; 8 p.m. Monday vs. Boston
———————————————

Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks small forward

Age 31 | 6–6, 205 | 10th NBA season | UNC 2010–13 (3 seasons)

Off Thursday and Friday
Season statistics (1 game) — 30 minutes, 10 points, 3–6 FG, 3–5 3FG, 1–1 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls
Next games 8:30 Saturday vs. Memphis, NBATV; 7:30 Tuesday at New Orleans, TNT
———————————————

Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward

Age 27 | 6–8, 220| sixth NBA season | UNC 2014–17 (3 seasons)

111–104 Friday win at Miami — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics
Didn’t play in either game
Next games — 7 p.m. Saturday at Orlando; 8 p.m. Monday at Chicago
———————————————

Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns power forward

Age 26 | 6–8, 210 | fourth NBA season | UNC 2017–19 (2 seasons)

113–111 OT Friday loss at Portland — Started; 23 minutes, 5 points, 2–9 FG, 1–6 3FG, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, -5, 1.8 game score
Season statistics
2 games, 10.0 points, 36.4 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist
Next games 10 p.m. Sunday at L.A. Clippers, NBATV; 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Golden State, TNT
———————————————

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz center

Age 21 | 7–0, 245 | rookie NBA season | UNC 2020–21 (1 season)

132–126 OT Friday win at Minnesota — 18 minutes, 6 points, 2–3 FG, 2–3 FT, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 blocks, 1 turnover, 1 foul, -3, 9.8 game score
Season statistics
2 games, 9.0 points, 87.5 FG, 44.4 FT, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 assists, 2.0 blocks
Next games 7 p.m. Sunday at New Orleans; 8 p.m. Monday at Houston
———————————————

Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers small forward

Age 22 | 6–5, 220 | fourth NBA season | UNC 2018–19 (1 season)

113–111 OT Friday win vs. Phoenix — 13 minutes, 9 points, 4–5 FG, 1–1 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 foul, +4, 8.4 game score
Season statistics
2 games, 4.5 points, 57.1 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 1.5 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Next games 3:30 Sunday at L.A. Lakers; 10 p.m. Monday vs. Denver, NBATV
———————————————

Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard

Age 26 | 6–5, 212 | fifth NBA season | UNC 2014–18 (4 seasons)

Off Thursday and Friday
Season statistics Didn’t play in the only game
Next games 8:30 Saturday vs. Memphis, NBATV; 7:30 Tuesday at New Orleans, TNT
———————————————

Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center

Age 20 | 6–9, 265 | second NBA season | UNC 2020–21 (1 season)

109–105 Friday win vs. Toronto — 10 minutes, 4 points, 2–3 FG, 0–2 FT, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 3 fouls, -11, 4.3 game score
Season statistics
2 games, 4.0 points, 27.3 FG%, 0–1 3PFG, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 1.0 steal, 0.5 of an assist
Next games 8 p.m. Monday at Memphis; 7:30 Wednesday at Milwaukee, ESPN
———————————————

Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard

Age 22 | 6–4, 195 | fourth NBA season| UNC 2018–19 (1 season)

102–100 Friday loss at Washington 31 minutes, 10 points, 3–6 FG, 2–4 3FG, 2–4 FT, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, +17, 7.1 game score
Season statistics
2 games, 10.0 points, 41.2 FG%, 36.4 3P%, 2.0 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Next games 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Cleveland; 8 p.m. Monday vs. Boston
———————————————
Out while recovering from surgery
Memphis forward Danny Green will miss most of the season after surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee suffered in May.

Photo of Anthony shooting over Young via @OrlandoMagic

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