Tar Heels in NBA: White has best game of season, play of day, in Bulls loss; Cam Johnson nears return

By R.L. Bynum

Coby White turned heads with one play and had his best game of the season Monday night in the Chicago Bulls’ 133–118 home loss to the Houston Rockets.

White put up a season-high game score of 14.6 with 14 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals while tying his season-high with four 3-pointers.

But a play late in the first half got plenty of attention and earned top-play honors during the Top 10 Plays segment on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

White poked the ball out of the hands of Jabari Smith Jr. and quickly retrieved the ball for a steal. He then used a behind-the-back dribble to get past Jalen Green near the sideline, then flung an alley-oop pass for a Zach LaVine dunk.

It was White’s best game since producing a 16.8 game score last season on March 24 in a 23-point game at New Orleans.

After 27 double-digit game scores in 61 games last season (44.3%), he has six in 25 games this season (24%). A big difference is that he’s only averaging 21 minutes per game this season after averaging 27.5 last season.

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Chicago is 14–19, 11th in the Eastern Conference.


Cameron Johnson is progressing in his recovery from a torn right meniscus suffered on Nov. 4 and is traveling with the Phoenix Suns on their current six-game road trip that concludes on Jan. 4  in Cleveland, according to the Arizona Republic.

Johnson isn’t expected to play during that road trip but being with the team is seen as a positive sign. He had surgery on Nov. 8, so he’s progressing toward a return after two months.


Walker Kessler started his fourth consecutive game, but Utah lost at San Antonio 126–122. Kessler had seven points and four rebounds in 21 minutes.


On Monday, the Brooklyn Nets assigned Day’Ron Sharpe to its G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, so he wasn’t with the NBA club for its win Monday at Cleveland. He’ll play for Long Island at home against Greensboro on Tuesday and likely Thursday (ESPN+).

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard

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

Off Monday
Season statistics — 17 games, 13.5 points, 45.2 FG%, 37.3 3P%, 89.8 FT%, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists
Next games — 7 p.m. Tuesday vs. Los Angeles Lakers; 7 p.m. Wednesday at Detroit


Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward

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

Off Monday
Season statistics — 31 games, 13.9 points, 47.8 FG%, 30.8 3FG%, 80.9 FT%, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Next games 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. Denver; 10 p.m. Wednesday vs. Denver, NBATV


Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center

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

133–118 Monday loss vs. Houston — Didn’t play (coach’s decision)
Season statistics — 9 games, 25 minutes, 12 points, 4–7 FG, 2–4 3FG, 2–2 FT, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Next games 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Milwaukee; 8 p.m. Friday vs. Detroit


Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks small forward

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

Off Monday
Season statistics 33 games, 5.3 points, 35.2 FG%, 32.6 3P%, 71.4 FT%, 3.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Next games 8:30 Tuesday vs. New York, NBATV; 8:30 Thursday vs. Houston


Justin Jackson, Boston Celtics forward

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

Off Monday
Season statistics — 13 games, 63 minutes, 6 points, 2–13 FG, 2–11 3FG, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals
Next games — 7:30 Tuesday vs. Houston; 7:30 Thursday vs. Los Angeles Clippers, NBATV


Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz center

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

126–122 Monday loss at San Antonio — Started; 21 minutes, 7 points, 2–4 FG, 3–6 FT, 4 rebounds, 4 fouls, -2, 4.2 game score
Season statistics 33 games, 6.8 points, 74.4 FG%, 55.0 FT%, 6.3 rebounds, 0.6 of an assist, 1.8 blocks
Next games 10 p.m. Wednesday at Golden State; 10 p.m. Friday at Sacramento


Theo Pinson, Dallas Mavericks guard

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

Off Monday
Season statistics — 14 games, 69 minutes, 13 points, 3–15 FG, 2–10 3FG, 5–6 FT, 20 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
Next games 8:30 Tuesday vs. New York, NBATV; 8:30 Thursday vs. Houston


Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center

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

Wasn’t with Brooklyn for the Monday game at Cleveland; assigned to G League Long Island Nets
Season statistics — 18 games, 154 minutes, 63 points, 24–46 FG, 3–4 3FG, 12–17 FT, 58 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, 10 blocks
Season G League statistics 6 games, 18.3 points, 64.0 FG%, 20.0 3FG%, 50.0 FT%, 12.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 blocks
Next game(s) 7 p.m. Tuesday for Long Island vs. Greensboro, ESPN+; 7:30 Wednesday at Atlanta and/or 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Greensboro, ESPN+


Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard

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

133–118 Monday loss vs. Houston 29 minutes, 14 points, 5–9 FG, 4–8 3FG, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 fouls, +17, 14.6 game score (season-high)
Season statistics 25 games, 8.3 points, 41.1 FG%, 34.7 3P%, 2.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists
Next games 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Milwaukee; 8 p.m. Friday vs. Detroit


In the G League

Garrison Brooks, Westchester Knicks center

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

Off Monday
Season statistics 15 games, 13.4 points, 61.1 FG%, 0–9 3P, 53.6 FT%, 12.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 of a block
Next games 7 p.m. Monday vs. Cleveland Charge; 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3 vs. Cleveland Charge


Out while recovering from surgery

— Phoenix forward Cameron Johnson is expected to return in early January after having right knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus 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 had offseason surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee suffered in May, and is targeting to make his season debut before the All-Star break in February.

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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