Suffering through a prolonged shooting slump, Reggie Bullock still couldn’t find the shooting stroke through three quarters on Tuesday night. Suddenly in the fourth quarter, it all came together for Bullock in the Dallas Mavericks’ 117–112 home victory over the Los Angeles Clippers after his status was uncertain entering the game because of a neck strain.
CHAPEL HILL — When Pete Nance’s first 3-pointer as a Tar Heel swished through the net 61 seconds into the game, it was probably a relief for him. It was a significant relief for No. 1 North Carolina that Nance was in a groove in the first half. He was responsible for 13 of the Tar Heels’ first 15 points in a highly choppy first-half performance.
Andrew Platek’s first season at Siena came to a frustrating early end, but his second season there is off to a terrific start. Platek knocked down three 3-pointers in a decisive second-half run and scored a career-high 15 points in Sunday’s 75–62 victory over Albany to claim the Albany Cup. That bettered his previous career-high of 13 points he scored in the Saints’ season-opening 75–68 win at Holy Cross.
Junior Puff Johnson has missed No. 1 North Carolina’s first two games and will likely be out for at least two more as he recovers from a sore knee. Coach Hubert Davis said Monday that he practiced Sunday and had limited reps Monday.
Carolina held the top spot in the latest AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll, but its lead in first-place votes over No. 2 Gonzaga fell from 35 votes to 30. The Tar Heels (2–0) won home games against UNC Wilmington 69–56 and College of Charleston 102–86, with preseason ACC player of the year Armando Bacot scoring 28 points. The Zags (2–0) beat North Florida 104–63 but barely knocked off unranked Michigan State 64–63.
By R.L. Bynum CHAPEL HILL — Second-half Caleb Love scoring surges were magical last season, and he shot top-ranked Carolina out of a funk on Friday night before Armando Bacot came out of his. Love scored seven of his 25 points in the first 2½ minutes of the second half to jump-start the Tar Heels…