Tar Heels in NBA: Barnes hits 17; consistency helps Kings to best start in 18 years

By R.L. Bynum

Harrison Barnes’ first four seasons in Sacramento were full of frustration as the Kings never were able to have sustained success. But, with his help, that’s changing this season.

Barnes scored 17 points and three 3-pointers with six rebounds Sunday night as the Kings beat the Chicago Bulls 110–101 for their best 22-game start since the 2004–05 season when he was 12 years old.

Sacramento started 15–7 that season and is off to an 11–5 start this season, which is the fifth-best record in the Western Conference. The Kings have won three straight games.

Barnes, who had 10 points, four rebounds and two assists in Saturday’s 123–96 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers, put up a 12.2 game score against the Bulls, the 10th time in double-digits this season. It was his fifth game with multiple 3-pointers and his second with at least three.

After scoring 15 points at Utah on Nov. 28, Coby White combined for 11 points in the last three Bulls games, scoring seven against the Kings with four rebounds in just under 16 minutes. Tony Bradley didn’t play (coach’s decision) for the second consecutive game.


In Orlando’s 121–108 loss Saturday night at Toronto, its eighth consecutive setback, Cole Anthony had 12 points, three rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes off the bench. The Magic is an NBA-worst 5–19.


Reggie Bullock was out of the Dallas starting lineup for the third consecutive game for Saturday’s 121–100 win at New York. In 25 minutes, he contributed 10 points, three 3-pointers and four rebounds. Theo Pinson played five scoreless minutes with a rebound, an assist and a steal.

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Bullock was 3 of 7 from 3-point range, his eighth game this season shooting at least 40% from outside the arc. For the season, he’s shooting 28.4% from 3-point range, 120th out of 125 players in the league who are averaging at least four 3-point attempts per game.


Justin Jackson played two scoreless minutes and didn’t get off a shot in Boston’s 103–92 win Sunday at Brooklyn.

For the Nets, Day’Ron Sharpe had three points and three rebounds in two minutes in his first action since Nov. 23. He was unavailable for a couple of games because of a non-COVID-19-related illness.


Walker Kessler collected eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks Saturday night in Utah’s 116–111 home victory Saturday over Portland. He has seven games this season with at least three blocks.


In the G League on Saturday night, Garrison Brooks was back in the Westchester Knicks’ starting lineup in their 108–105 home win over Capital City. Brooks put up another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, dishing out four assists.

Brooks leads the league in rebounding at 12.2 per game.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard

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

121–108 Saturday loss at Toronto Didn’t start; 24 minutes, 12 points, 4–10 FG, 1–3 3FG, 3–3 FT, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 fouls, +5, 11.2 game score
Season statistics — 7 games, 14.9 points, 44.3 FG%, 39.2 3P%, 84.0 FT%, 4.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.2 of a steal
Next games — 7 p.m. Monday vs Milwaukee; 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Los Angeles Clippers


Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward

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

123–96 Saturday win at Los Angeles Clippers — Started; 26 minutes, 10 points, 4–6 FG, 1–3 3FG, 1–5 FT, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, +26, 8.3 game score
110–101 Sunday win vs. Chicago — Started; 38 minutes, 17 points, 6–10 FG, 3–6 3FG, 2–2 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, +1, 12.2 game score
Season statistics — 22 games, 13.2 points, 48.9 FG%, 30.1 3FG%, 84.0 FT%, 5.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists
Next games 8 p.m. Wednesday at Milwaukee; 7:30 Friday at Cleveland


Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center

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

110–101 Sunday loss at Sacramento — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 6 games, 15 minutes, 7 points, 2–4 FG, 2–2 FT, 7 rebounds
Next games 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Washington; 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Dallas


Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks small forward

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

121–100 Saturday win at New York — Didn’t start; 25 minutes, 10 points, 3–8 FG, 3–7 3FG, 1–1 FT, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 fouls, +15, 8.1 game score
Season statistics 21 games, 5.1 points, 30.4 FG%, 28.4 3P%, 71.4 FT%, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Next games 8:30 Monday vs. Phoenix, NBATV; 10 p.m. Tuesday at Denver, TNT


Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward

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

103–92 Sunday win at Brooklyn — 2 minutes, 0 points, 1 foul, -5, -0.4 game score
Season statistics — 9 games, 46 minutes, 6 points, 2–10 FG, 2–9 3FG, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 steals
Next games — 7:30 Monday at Toronto; 10 p.m. Wednesday at Phoenix, ESPN


Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz center

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

116–111 Saturday loss vs. Portland — 17 minutes, 8 points, 4–4 FG, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 fouls, -10, 10.9 game score
Season statistics 23 games, 5.8 points, 75.7 FG%, 56.8 FT%, 5.3 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist, 1.7 blocks
Next games 9 p.m. Wednesday vs. Golden State; 9 p.m. Friday vs. Minnesota


Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard

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

121–100 Saturday win at New York — 5 minutes, 0 points, 0–2 FG, 0–2 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal, -10, 0.6 game score
Season statistics — 6 games, 21 minutes, 4 points, 1–4 FG, 0–3 3FG, 2–2 FT, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Next games 8:30 Monday vs. Phoenix, NBATV; 10 p.m. Tuesday at Denver, TNT


Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center

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

103–92 Sunday loss vs. Boston — 2 minutes, 3 points, 1–1 FG, 1–1 3FG, 3 rebounds, +5, 4.0 game score
Season statistics 15 games, 113 minutes, 41 points, 15–31 FG, 3–4 3FG, 8–12 FT, 43 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, 7 blocks
Next games 7:30 Wednesday vs. Charlotte, Bally Sports Southeast; 7:30 Friday vs. Atlanta


Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard

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

110–101 Sunday loss at Sacramento — 16 minutes, 7 points, 3–6 FG, 1–3 3FG, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, +1, 3.5 game score
Season statistics 15 games, 7.5 points, 41.0 FG%, 32.8 3P%, 2.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists
Next games 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Washington; 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Dallas


In the G League

Garrison Brooks, Westchester Knicks center

Age 23 | 6–10, 240 | Rookie| UNC 2017–21 (4 seasons)

108–105 Saturday win vs. Capital City — Started; 30 minutes, 12 points, 6–9 FG, 0–1 FT, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 3 blocks, 5 fouls, -16
Season statistics 11 games, 13.1 points, 60.8 FG%, 0–8 3P, 60.0 FT%, 12.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.8 of a block
Next games 7 p.m. Monday vs. Capitol City; 7 p.m. Friday at Delaware


Out while recovering from surgery

— Phoenix forward Cameron Johnson is expected to return early this month or as late as early January after having right knee surgery on Nov. 8. His season statistics: 8 games, 13.0 points, 44.6 FG%, 43.1 3P%, 72.7 FT%, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists
— 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.

Out until mid-January

— Portland forward Nassir Little suffered a mild femoral impaction fracture to his right hip on Nov. 29. His season statistics: 21 games, 5.5 points, 47.3 FG%, 37.2 3P%, 66.7 FT%, 2.4 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist


Get an explanation of the game score metric here.

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