Tar Heels in NBA: Little has best game of season; Johnson injured; Barnes scores 12

By R.L. Bynum

With the most playing time for Portland all season, Nassir Little had his best night Friday in a game Cameron Johnson left early with a knee injury.

Little, who had previously not played more than 19 minutes this season, scored a season-high 12 points in 23 minutes of the Portland Trail Blazers’ 108–106 road victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Little tied season-highs with two 3-pointers, four rebounds and three assists and reached 100 career 3-pointers in the game. His 9.5 game score was a season-high, the highest since an 18.5 in a 20-point game last season against Minnesota on Jan. 25.

It was a short night for Johnson after he hurt his right knee in the first quarter. He landed awkwardly and started limping, left the game a few plays later for the dressing room and didn’t return to the game.

Johnson was scoreless and missed both shots in five minutes after averaging 21.3 points in the previous three games, including 29 in Tuesday’s victory over Minnesota.

Playing without Damian Lillard, the Blazers got their second win of the season against the Suns. Portland, Phoenix and the Utah Jazz are tied for the Western Conference lead at 6–2.

The Blazers and Suns play in Phoenix again Saturday night at 10 o’clock (NBATV).


In Utah’s 130–116 road win Friday over the Los Angeles Lakers, Walker Kessler contributed eight points, four rebounds and two blocks in 11 minutes. He put up a 9.9 game score, his highest since the first week of the season. It was his second game after missing three games while battling a sickness. He returned for four scoreless minutes in Wednesday’s 103–100 road loss to Dallas.


Reggie Bullock struggled with his shooting in both Mavericks wins this week. He was 1 of 4 and scored three points in that win over Utah and was 1 of 7 with two points in Friday’s 111–110 home win over Toronto. Theo Pinson didn’t play in either game (coach’s decision).


Harrison Barnes had his fourth consecutive double-figure scoring game Wednesday night with 12 points and seven rebounds in the Sacramento Kings’ 110–107 road loss to the Miami Heat. He was 4 of 12 from the floor and 2 of 5 from 3-point range and is now 4 of 23 from outside the arc on the season.


Day’Ron Sharpe played for only the second time in the last five games as Brooklyn rolled to a 128–86 victory Friday at Washington. Sharpe was scoreless with a rebound in eight minutes.


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Coby White missed Chicago’s 106–88 Wednesday home win over Charlotte and Friday’s 123–119 loss at Boston as he recovers from a left quadriceps contusion and has missed the last three games.

Tony Bradley didn’t play in either Bulls game (coach’s decision) and hasn’t played in the last six. He’s played just over six minutes total in two games.

Justin Jackson didn’t play (coach’s decision) in the Celtics’ win over Chicago. He hasn’t played the last two games and has just over nine minutes total in two games.


Cole Anthony, still out with a right internal oblique injury, missed Orlando’s 130–129 Thursday home win over Golden State. He’s missed the last four games and has already been ruled out for Saturday’s home game against Sacramento.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard

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

130–129 Thursday win vs. Golden State — Anthony is out indefinitely with a right internal oblique injury and missed his fourth consecutive game
Season statistics — 4 games, 15.5 points, 41.5 FG%, 35.0 3P%, 73.4 FT%, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 turnovers, 1.0 steal
Next games — 5 p.m. Saturday vs. Sacramento; 7:15 p.m. Monday vs. Houston
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Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward

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

110–107 Wednesday loss at Miami — Started; 35 minutes, 12 points, 4–12 FG, 2–5 3FG, 2–2 FT, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, -3, 8.8 game score
Season statistics — 7 games, 11.4 points, 38.7 FG%, 4 of 23 3FG, 80.0 FT%, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists
Next games 5 p.m. Saturday at Orlando; 10 p.m. Monday at Golden State
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Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center

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

106–88 Wednesday win vs. Charlotte and 123–119 Friday loss at Boston Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 2 games, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 1.5 rebounds
Next games 6 p.m. Sunday at Toronto; 8:45 Monday vs. Toronto
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Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks small forward

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

103–100 Wednesday win vs. Utah — Started; 29 minutes, 3 points, 1–4 FG, 1–4 3FG, 0–1 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, -4, 0.1 game score
111–110 Friday win vs. Toronto — Started; 25 minutes, 2 points, 1–7 FG, 0–5 3FG, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, +12, 1.0 game score
Season statistics 8 games, 6.0 points, 34.0 FG%, 34.2 3P%, 60.0 FT%, 2.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist
Next games 9:45 Monday vs. Brooklyn; 7 p.m. Wednesday at Orlando
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Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward

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

114–113 OT loss Wednesday at Cleveland and 123–119 Friday win vs. Chicago Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 2 games, 6 points, 2–5 FG, 2–5 3FG
Next games — 7:30 Saturday at New York, NBATV; 9 p.m. Monday at Memphis
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Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns power forward

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

108–106 Friday loss vs. Portland — Started; 5 minutes, 0 points, 0–2 FG, 0–1 3FG, 1 assist, 1 foul, +8, -1.1 game score
Season statistics 8 games, 13.0 points, 44.6 FG%, 43.1 3P%, 72.7 FT%, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assist
Next games 10 p.m. Saturday vs. Portland, NBATV; 8 p.m. Monday at Philadelphia, NBATV
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Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz center

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

103–100 Wednesday loss at Dallas — 4 minutes, 1 foul, -2, -0.4 game score
130–116 Friday win at Los Angeles Lakers — 11 minutes, 8 points, 4–5 FG, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, plus/minus of 0, 9.9 game score
Season statistics 7 games, 5.3 points, 66.7 FG, 60.0 FT, 4.3 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist, 1.4 blocks
Next games 10 p.m. Sunday at Los Angeles Clippers; 10:15 Monday vs. Los Angeles Lakers
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Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers small forward

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

111–106 Wednesday loss vs. Memphis — 12 minutes, 3 points, 1–5 FG, 1–3 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 turnover, -8, -0.1 game score
108–106 Friday win at Phoenix — 23 minutes, 12 points, 4–7 FG, 2–4 3FG, 2–2 FT, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, +10, 9.5 game score
Season statistics 8 games, 5.9 points, 48.6 FG%, 40.0 3P%, 2.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Next games 10 p.m. Saturday at Phoenix, NBATV; 8:30 Monday at Miami
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Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard

Age 27 | 6–5, 212 | fifth NBA season | UNC 2014–18 (4 seasons)

103–100 Wednesday win vs. Utah and 111–110 Friday win vs. Toronto Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics (1 game) — 7 minutes, 2 points, 2–2 FT, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, +8, 3.3 game score
Next games 9:45 Monday vs. Brooklyn; 7 p.m. Wednesday at Orlando
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Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center

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

128–86 Friday win at Washington — 8 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 1 rebound, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, +5, -2.2 game score
Season statistics 6 games, 3.3 points, 42.1 FG%, 0–1 3P, 4.2 rebounds, 0.8 of a block, 0.8 of an assist
Next games 7 p.m. Saturday at Charlotte, Bally Sports Southeast; 9:45 Monday at Dallas
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Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard

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

106–88 Wednesday win vs. Charlotte and 123–119 Friday loss at Boston Missed game with a left quadriceps contusion
Season statistics 7 games, 8.1 points, 38.2 FG%, 29.4 3P%, 1.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Next games 6 p.m. Sunday at Toronto; 8:45 Monday vs. Toronto
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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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