Tar Heels in NBA: Barnes, Johnson both score 17 points, but their teams suffer frustrating losses

It was a rough night for Harrison Barnes and Cameron Johnson as they both scored 17 points but their teams lost Game 3s in their NBA first-round series Thursday. It was particularly frustrating for Johnson, whose Brooklyn Nets made a game of it but missed chances to win it or tie it at the end as Philadelphia took a 3–0 series lead with a 102–97 victory in Brooklyn.

Tar Heels in NBA: Johnson sensational in 22-point first half, but Nets fall to Sixers; Barnes scores 13 as Kings go up 2–0 on Warriors

Relentless, red-hot and fearless. Cameron Johnson was all that for Brooklyn on Monday night for one half, but, again, it wasn’t enough. Harrison Barnes again was a steady force as Sacramento took a 2–0 lead on Golden State. Johnson scored 22 points and had Joel Embiid flailing with a one-handed dunk in his face, followed by a stare-down of the 7-footer, in the first half. He added only six points in the second half, though, as the Philadelphia 76ers took a 2–0 series lead with a 96–84 victory over the Nets on Monday night.

Tar Heels in NBA: Barnes scores 13, huge 3, in Kings win; Johnson’s best career playoff game isn’t enough; Green sits for Cavs’ loss

In a festive, college-type atmosphere in Sacramento, Harrison Barnes scored 13 points and a big late 3-pointer as the Kings won their first playoff game in 17 years. Cameron Johnson’s best career playoff game wasn’t enough for his Brooklyn Nets. Against the Golden State Warriors, where Barnes began his NBA career and won a league title in 2015, the Kings pulled out a 126–123 victory in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series in a highly entertaining game.

Tar Heels in NBA: White scores 14, huge 3s but gets taken out late in Bulls loss; four other UNC alums open playoffs Saturday

Where was Coby White with the game on the line at the end? That’s what many on social media wanted to know after his 3-pointer with 3:47 left (shown below) gave the Chicago Bulls a three-point lead. The Miami Heat outscored Chicago 15–1 the rest of the way, going on to a 102–91 victory in a play-in tournament elimination game to end the Bulls’ season.

Tar Heels in NBA: White perfect from floor, has nine points, five assists as Bulls advance; four other UNC alums open playoffs Saturday

Coby White scored all nine of his points in the second quarter as the Chicago Bulls became the first No. 10 seed to win a play-in tournament, rallying from a 19-point second-half deficit to win 109–105 Wednesday night in Toronto. The other four UNC alums in the postseason play their playoff openers on Saturday.

Tar Heels in NBA: Pinson’s triple-double highlights final day of regular season: five UNC alums begin postseason play this week

Theo Pinson’s career-best triple-double performance was the highlight as the NBA finished its regular season, and only five UNC alums will play in the postseason. Heading to the Eastern Conference play-in tournament are Coby White’s Chicago Bulls. Harrison Barnes’ Sacramento Kings, Cameron Johnson, Day’Ron Sharpe and the Brooklyn Nets, and Danny Green’s Cleveland Cavaliers all secured spots in first-round playoff series.

Pinson puts up first NBA triple-double by a Tar Heel in six seasons with career-highs in points, rebounds and assists

With the Dallas Mavericks resting all their regulars in their last game of the season, Theo Pinson got his first career start and took full advantage of the opportunity. Pinson produced his first career triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in 40 minutes, all career-highs, in the Mavericks’ 138–117 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Pinson, who also had a steal, is the only active Tar Heel with an NBA triple-double and the first to achieve one since Ty Lawson did it for Sacramento on April 11, 2017.

Tar Heels in NBA: White collects 24 points, 11 assists as Bulls eliminate Mavs after Pinson nearly ties it at end; Johnson hits 18 as Nets clinch playoff berth

The final games of the NBA regular season can lead to some interesting decisions by teams that produce strange lineups for various reasons. However, it’s also a chance for some players to flourish. Starting for only the second time this season, Coby White had one of his best nights of the season and Theo Pinson missed a shot in the final minute that would have tied it in one of the oddest games on the final weekend.

Tar Heels in NBA: Green pours in 21 points, 5 3s; Barnes’ Kings clinch division title; White passes Jordan on Bulls 3-pointers list

After working his way back from offseason knee surgery, there hasn’t been much of a reward for that for Danny Green — until Thursday night. On a night when both teams rested their starters, Green scored 21 points and five 3-pointers as the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to a 118–94 road victory over the Orlando Magic. In addition to all five Orlando starters resting, sixth man Cole Anthony didn’t play.

There could be more former Tar Heels playing for other colleges next season than in the NBA

It’s another example of the transfer portal’s significant impact on college basketball to realize that there might be more former Tar Heels playing for other colleges next season than in the NBA. Potentially, 10 former UNC players could be playing for other colleges next season, and only eight are locks to make NBA rosters next season.