Tar Heels in NBA: Johnson shakes off hip injury with best game of season; Little showing flashes for Blazers

By R.L. Bynum

Cameron Johnson shook off a right hip contusion to have his best game of the season Sunday night.

In 23 minutes, Johnson collected 11 points, three 3-pointers, five rebounds, two assists and a steal as the Phoenix Suns (2–1) easily won on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers 112–95.

Johnson, who was 4 of 6 from the floor, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, produced a season-best 11.1 game score. His 3-pointer was one of three in a row from the Suns (the others were from Landry Shamet and Devin Booker) that shoved the Phoenix lead to 99–81 and put the game away.

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The Suns had listed Johnson as questionable for the game up until a few hours before tipoff.


Nassir Little isn’t putting up big numbers for the 3–0 Portland Trail Blazers, but he’s showing flashes of his versatile skill set.

In Portland’s 106–104 Sunday road win against the Los Angeles Lakers, Little contributed seven points, one 3-pointer, three rebounds and one assist in 14 minutes.

Little scored back-to-back Blazers buckets, with a driving layup and an 18-foot pull-up jumper, to give them an 83–82 lead with 10:26 left.


Walker Kessler collected seven points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 22 minutes as his Utah Jazz moved to 3–0 with a 122–121 overtime victory Sunday at New Orleans. One of his blocks rejected an attempt by former Duke star Zion Williamson.


Harrison Barnes’ tough start to the season continued in the Sacramento Kings’ 130–125 loss at Golden State. He scored four points in 21 minutes, making his only shot and adding two rebounds and one steal.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard

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

Off Sunday
Season statistics — 2 games, 19.5 points, 56.0 FG%, 60 3P%, 55.6 FT%, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 turnovers, 1.0 steal, 1.0 block
Next games — 7:30 Monday at New York, NBATV; 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cleveland
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Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward

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

130–125 Sunday loss at Golden State — Started; 21 minutes, 4 points, 1–1 FG, 2–4 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, -18, 2.1 game score
Season statistics — 3 games, 7.0 points, 36.8 FG%, 0 of 5 3FG, 53.8 FT%, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Next games 10 p.m. Thursday vs. Memphis; 6 p.m. Saturday vs. Miami
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Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center

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

Off Sunday
Season statistics (1 game) — 4 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2 rebounds, -6
Next games 8 p.m. Monday vs. Boston; 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Indiana
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Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks small forward

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

Off Sunday
Season statistics 2 games, 9.0 points, 54.5 FG%, 55.6 3P%, 1 of 1 FT, 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist
Next games 7:30 Tuesday at New Orleans, TNT; 7:30 Thursday at Brooklyn, NBATV
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Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward

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

Off Sunday
Season statistics Hasn’t played in any of Boston’s three games
Next games — 8 p.m. Monday at Chicago; 7:30 Friday vs. Cleveland
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Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns power forward

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

112–95 Sunday win at L.A. Clippers — Started; 23 minutes, 11 points, 4–6 FG, 3–4 3FG, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 4 fouls, +13, 11.1 game score
Season statistics 3 games, 10.3 points, 42.9 FG%, 43.8 3P%, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assist
Next games 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Golden State, TNT; 10 p.m. Friday vs. New Orleans, ESPN
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Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz center

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

122–121 Sunday OT win at New Orleans — 22 minutes, 7 points, 3–6 FG, 1–2 FT, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 fouls, +9, 10.7 game score
Season statistics 3 games, 8.3 points, 71.4 FG, 45.5 FT, 8.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.0 blocks
Next games 8 p.m. Monday at Houston; 9 p.m. Wednesday vs. Houston
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Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers small forward

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

106–104 Sunday win at L.A. Lakers — 14 minutes, 7 points, 3–6 FG, 1–3 3FG, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, plus/minus of 0, 5.6 game score
Season statistics 3 games, 5.3 points, 53.8 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 2.0 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Next games 10 p.m. Monday vs. Denver, NBATV; 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Miami
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Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard

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

Off Sunday
Season statistics (1 game) — 7 minutes, 2 points, 2–2 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, +8, 3.3 game score
Next games 7:30 Tuesday at New Orleans, TNT; 7:30 Thursday at Brooklyn, NBATV
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Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center

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

Off Sunday
Season statistics 3 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
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Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard

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

Off Sunday
Season statistics 3 games, 8.3 points, 36.0 FG%, 25.0 3P%, 1.7 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist
Next games 8 p.m. Monday vs. Boston; 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Indiana
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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.
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Get an explanation of the game score metric here.

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