Tar Heels in NBA: Anthony keeps producing off bench for surging Magic; Barnes, Bullock, White each score 12

By R.L. Bynum

Cole Anthony keeps producing efficient minutes off the bench, and Orlando keeps winning, something the third-year pro hasn’t seen much of with the Magic.

Anthony contributed 13 points, five rebounds and six assists while playing good defense in 20 minutes as Orlando rolled to a 135–124 home victory Wednesday night over the Atlanta Hawks for their first four-game win streak since his rookie season.

The Magic had the league’s worst record before the streak, but is now 9–20 and 13th in the Eastern Conference

He was a big part of Orlando scoring 50 first-quarter points, a franchise record for any quarter. The previous high was 49 points in the third quarter against Milwaukee on Feb. 20, 1995, five years before Anthony was born.

In the last two minutes of the opening period, he had two assists, a rebound, a 3-pointer, a 15-foot jumper and — with 2.9 seconds left — two free throws. Orlando took a 50–22 lead into the second quarter.

It was the third game this season with that season-high assist total for Anthony, who is backing up Markelle Fultz at point guard after starting his first two seasons. Fultz had 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in 32 minutes against the Hawks. Anthony has started only three of his 12 games.

“For me, I don’t think it’s much of a change,” Anthony said during a media session Tuesday of coming off the bench. “I still feel like I get the opportunity to go out there and score, pass it, rebound and defend. It ain’t nothing but the same thing to me. It’s the game I love to play, so I’m going to play it at the highest level I can.”

In the eight games since returning after missing 15 games with a right oblique tear, he’s averaging 12.5 points and shooting 44.7% from the floor and 35.7% from 3-point range, playing between 20 and 29 minutes.

“Cole has been great,” said Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley, who played Anthony a season-low 20 minutes Wednesday, on Tuesday. “Playing with a level of poise these last couple of games, trying to make the right play and the right decision. The one thing I really appreciate about what he’s doing is — even if shots aren’t falling for him — he is still trying to make the right play. Defensively he has been great navigating over and under screens, trying to get back into the basketball and sit down and guard.”

While Anthony is adjusting to the bench role, he would prefer to play more minutes.

“I feel like I should be out there more,” Anthony said. “I ain’t going to whine or pout about it. I’m just going to work harder. My mom sent me this quote, it’s a Gregg Popovich quote, it was something about ‘make me look like an idiot for not playing you.’ It’s sticking with me. I’m just doing what I can to help this team win, and I feel that’s what I’ve done these past few games.”

Playing for the second consecutive night, the Sacramento Kings rallied from a 16-point deficit to win at Toronto 124–123. That snapped a two-game losing streak on the fifth game of a six-game road trip.

Harrison Barnes had 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Kings and made two clutch free throws with 21.4 seconds left.


“I’m just proud of everyone,” said Barnes, who has scored in double figures in the last eight games. “Coming off a back-to-back and being able to get this win, I think that’s huge for us.”

Sacramento, which finishes the road trip Friday night in Detroit, is seventh in the Western Conference at 15–12.

After four consecutive games single-digit scoring games (and nine of 10), Reggie Bullock has scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

He scored 12 points and three 3-pointers in Monday’s win against Oklahoma City and matched both totals in Wednesday’s 105–90 home loss to Cleveland.

Theo Pinson scored both of his points on the free throw line in three minutes and has made all four attempts from the line this season.

The loss evened Dallas’ record at 14–14, ninth in the Western Conference.

Coby White had 12 points, two 3-pointers, four rebounds and two assists in Chicago’s 128–120 overtime home loss to New York. Tony Bradley didn’t play for the Bulls (coach’s decision).

The Bulls (11–16) have lost two in a row and are 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard

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

135–124 win vs. Atlanta — 20 minutes, 13 points, 3–7 FG, 0–3 3FG, 7–7 FT, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, +1
Season statistics — 12 games, 13.5 points, 43.4 FG%, 35.4 3P%, 86.8 FT%, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steal
Next games — 7:30 Friday at Boston; 3 p.m. Sunday at Boston

Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward

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

124–123 win at Toronto — Started; 12 points, 4–8 FG, 0–3 3FG, 4–4 FT, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 foul, +8
Season statistics — 27 games, 13.7 points, 48.3 FG%, 29.0 3FG%, 82.6 FT%, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists
Next games 7 p.m. Friday at Detroit; 10 p.m. Monday vs. Charlotte, Bally Sports SE

Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center

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

128–120 OT loss vs. New York — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 7 games, 19 minutes, 10 points, 3–5 FG, 1–1 3FG, 2–2 FT, 7 rebounds, 1 assist
Next games 8 p.m. Friday vs. New York; 7 p.m. Sunday at Minnesota

Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks small forward

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

105–90 loss vs. Cleveland — 36 minutes, 12 points, 4–6 FG, 3–5 3FG, 1–1 FT, 2 rebounds, -3
Season statistics 27 games, 5.1 points, 34.1 FG%, 31.8 3P%, 70.0 FT%, 3.0 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist
Next games 8:30 Friday vs. Portland; 8 p.m. Saturday at Cleveland

Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward

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

Off Wednesday
Season statistics — 12 games, 62 minutes, 6 points, 2–13 FG, 2–11 3FG, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals
Next games — 7:30 Friday vs. Orlando; 3 p.m. Sunday vs. Orlando

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz center

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

Off Wednesday
Season statistics 27 games, 6.3 points, 73.0 FG%, 57.1 FT%, 6.1 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist, 1.9 blocks
Next games 9 p.m. Thursday vs. New Orleans; 8 p.m. Saturday at Milwaukee

Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard

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

105–90 loss vs. Cleveland 3 minutes, 2 points, 2–2 FT, 1 rebound, +4
Season statistics —
9 games, 30 minutes, 6 points, 1–5 FG, 0–4 3FG, 4–4 FT, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Next games 8:30 Friday vs. Portland; 8 p.m. Saturday at Cleveland

Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center

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

Off Wednesday
Season NBA statistics 17 games, 152 minutes, 61 points, 23–45 FG, 3–4 3FG, 12–17 FT, 57 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, 18 blocks
Season G League statistics 3 games, 22.3 points, 64.3 FG%, 20.0 3FG%, 58.3 FT%, 14.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 blocks
Next game(s) 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Westchester AND/OR 7:30 Friday at Toronto

Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard

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

128–120 OT loss vs. New York — 28 minutes, 12 points, 5–8 FG, 2–4 3FG, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, +3
Season statistics 19 games, 7.6 points, 40.5 FG%, 32.9 3P%, 2.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists
Next games 8 p.m. Friday vs. New York; 7 p.m. Sunday at Minnesota

In the G League

Garrison Brooks, Westchester Knicks center

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

Off Wednesday
Season statistics 14 games, 13.8 points, 61.3 FG%, 0–9 3P, 55.6 FT%, 12.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 of a block
Next games 7 p.m. Thursday at Long Island; 7 p.m. Friday vs. Delaware

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.

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