Tar Heels in NBA: Sharpe starts, ties career-highs in points, rebounds with double-double as short-handed Nets win

By R.L. Bynum

Day’Ron Sharpe got a golden chance to show what he could do in the NBA and, despite playing for a short-handed team, he started and put up a double-double in an amazing Brooklyn Nets win.

Sharpe tied his career-highs with 20 points and 12 rebounds — nine offensive — in a career-high 32 minutes as the Nets rallied to win Saturday at Indiana 136–133. Sharpe’s game score of 18.0 was a career-high, bettering his best previous score of 15.5 last season on Jan. 19 in a 14-point, 6-rebound game on Jan. 19 at Washington.

The Nets pulled off the win despite playing without Kevin Durant (knee), Kyrie Irving (adductor), Nic Claxton (hamstring), Joe Harris (ankle), Royce O’Neale (personal reasons) and Seth Curry (ankle), with only nine players available.

“We already got the confidence,” Sharpe said. “It’s all about opportunity and just being ready. And tonight was all the opportunity to just stay ready.”

Nets management may have given up on the game, the second in as many nights, but the players who played weren’t about to do that.

“I feel like they looked down on us because we didn’t have KD and Kyrie,” said Sharpe, who helped the Nets — the worst rebounding team in the league — outrebound the Pacers 59–30. “We came out, and we did what we had to do.”

Despite missing all those players, Brooklyn won its third consecutive game and sixth in the last seven, overcoming multiple double-digit deficits.

“We played together as a team; we had a lot of guys down, a lot of guys out today,” Sharpe said. “It just shows if the team is staying together, playing hard, playing smart and playing together, we get a dub.”

Brooklyn trailed 100–95 heading into the fourth quarter, but Sharpe slammed an alley-oop dunk and another emphatic dunk shortly afterward to ignite the Nets’ rally. He scored 10 points in each half.

“Personally, I feel like if you’re in the NBA, you’re in the NBA for a reason. We’re all NBA players, we all play basketball. Just because we’re young, guys tend to look down on us,” said Sharpe, adding that he was in a similar situation last season because of COVID-19.

It’s been an amazing week for Sharpe, who put up two double-doubles last week in the G League for the Long Island Nets before playing six scoreless minutes for Brooklyn in Friday night’s home win over Atlanta.

“I got out at the beginning of the season, but that was like a month-long, but I just kept working,” Sharpe said. “Being in the weight room, running, playing hard, playing hard to G League games I played in. I feel like it all was preparation for the night. So, I just stay ready, kept working.”

In Sharpe’s first start this season and ninth of his career, he equaled his career-high of 20 points set last season on Jan. 12 at Chicago and his career-high of 12 rebounds set last season on Feb. 12 at Miami. Before Saturday, the most playing time he got this season was 23 minutes on Oct. 19 and his career-high was 27 in that same Miami game.

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The 20 points come after collecting only 41 points over 119 minutes in his previous 16 NBA games this season.


In Utah’s 115–110 loss at Denver, Walker Kessler came off the bench after starting the previous two games. He collected 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. It was his ninth game this season with three or more blocks.


Four Tar Heels played in Chicago’s 144–115 home win over Dallas, highlighted by Coby White’s season-high seven assists and four rebounds in 26 minutes while scoring two points. White’s previous best assist total was four vs. Boston on Oct. 24 and at Sacramento on Oct. 28.

Tony Bradley scored his fifth career 3-pointer on his first attempt of the season and finished with three points and an assist in four minutes.

For the Mavericks, Reggie Bullock had three points and two rebounds for his fourth consecutive game with five or fewer points and ninth in the last 10. Theo Pinson missed his only shot, a 3-point attempt, in four minutes.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard

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

Off Saturday
Season statistics — 10 games, 13.5 points, 42.5 FG%, 38.1 3P%, 82.1 FT%, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.1 steals
Next games — 6 p.m. Sunday vs. Toronto; 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Atlanta


Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward

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

Off Saturday
Season statistics — 24 games, 13.8 points, 49.5 FG%, 31.8 3FG%, 82.9 FT%, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Next games 6 p.m. Sunday at New York; 7 p.m. Tuesday at Philadelphia


Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center

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

X–X xxxx vs. Dallas — x
Season statistics — 6 games, 15 minutes, 7 points, 2–4 FG, 2–2 FT, 7 rebounds
Next games 6:30 Sunday at Atlanta; 7:30 Wednesday vs. New York, ESPN


Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks small forward

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

X–X xxx at Chicago — 19 minutes, 5 points, 2–3 FG, 1–2 3FG, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 foul, -3, 5.5 game score
Season statistics 24 games, 4.7 points, 30.6 FG%, 28.0 3P%, 66.7 FT%, 3.0 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist
Next games 8:30 Monday vs. Oklahoma City; 9 p.m. Wednesday vs. Cleveland


Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward

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

X–X xxx at Golden State — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 10 games, 56 minutes, 6 points, 2–13 FG, 2–11 3FG, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 2 steals
Next games — 10:30 Monday at Los Angeles Clippers, NBATV; 10 p.m. Tuesday at Los Angeles Lakers, TNT


Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz center

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

X–X xxx at Denver — Started; 21 minutes, 6 points, 34 FG, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, plus/minus of 0, 6.5 game score
Season statistics 25 games, 6.0 points, 76.2 FG%, 56.8 FT%, 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist, 1.8 blocks
Next games 9 p.m. Tuesday vs. New Orleans; 9 p.m. Thursday vs. New Orleans


Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard

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

X–X xxx at Chicago — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics —
7 games, 24 minutes, 4 points, 1–4 FG, 0–3 3FG, 2–2 FT, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Next games 8:30 Monday vs. Oklahoma City; 9 p.m. Wednesday vs. Cleveland


Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center

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

X–X xxxx at Indiana — 6 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1 foul, -2
Season NBA statistics 16 games, 119 minutes, 41 points, 15–32 FG, 3–4 3FG, 8–12 FT, 45 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, 8 blocks
Season G League statistics 2 games, 24.0 points, 21–28 FG, 0–3 3FG, 3–6 FT, 15.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 blocks
Next games 7 p.m. Monday at Washington; 7:30 Friday at Toronto


Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard

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

X–X xxxx vs. Dallas — x
Season statistics 16 games, 7.4 points, 41.3 FG%, 32.8 3P%, 1.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Next games 6:30 Sunday at Atlanta; 7:30 Wednesday vs. New York, ESPN


In the G League

Garrison Brooks, Westchester Knicks center

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

Off Saturday
Season statistics 13 games, 13.3 points, 62.5 FG%, 0–9 3P, 60.9 FT%, 12.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.7 of a block
Next games 7 p.m. Tuesday at Long Island; 7 p.m. Thursday at Long Island


Out while recovering from surgery

— Phoenix forward Cameron Johnson is expected to return 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.

Photo via @BrooklynNets

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