The Sacramento Kings have split two games the last two nights, but Harrison Barnes played well in each game, with his best performances in consecutive games since November.
After scoring 19 points and three 3-pointers with eight rebounds in Tuesday’s 117–115 win over Utah, he contributed 22 points, two 3-pointers and four rebounds Wednesday in a 120–117 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
CHAPEL HILL — When Pete Nance left the game in the first two minutes, Carolina figured to need unexpected contributions to overcome Wake Forest. Although RJ Davis’ second-half scoring surge — with 22 of his 27 points after halftime — was the Tar Heels’ main spark, they couldn’t have won without the play of Leaky Black and Justin McKoy.
The narrow loss at Pittsburgh made Carolina’s return to the AP Top 25 men’s poll brief. But the good news for the Tar Heels is that the 76–74 setback came in a Quad 1 game, and can be classified as a “good loss” for NCAA men’s tournament resume purposes. UNC (9–5, 1–2 ACC) is one of six teams in the country that has played an NCAA-high six Quad 1 games, but is tied for the second-worst record in those games at 1–5 with South Dakota State (194 in the NET rankings). No 5-ranked Arizona (5 in NET) is 5–1, No. 24 Ohio State (10 in NET) is 3–3, No. 9 Gonzaga (13 in NET) is 3–3 and Florida (61 in NET) is 0–6.
Harrison Barnes scored 16 points and tied his season-high with four 3-pointers in his best game since mid-December, but it wasn’t enough in a tough road test for his Sacramento Kings. The Memphis Grizzlies pulled away after a close first half to lead by as many as 14 points before taking a 118–108 victory Sunday.
Dawson Garcia, who left the Carolina team in January last season, has found a productive home at Minnesota. The sophomore forward, who began his career at Marquette, leads the Gophers in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounding (5.6 average) while starting all 12 games. He joined a program that was 13–17 last season and 4–16 in the Big Ten.
Andrew Platek scored 19 points, all in the second half, to lead Siena to a 73–76 road MAAC victory Friday over Quinnipiac for its third consecutive victory. Platek made 3 of 4 3-point attempts, pulled down a career-high seven rebounds, and had an assist and two steals for the Saints (8–5, 2–0 MAAC).
For some Saturday stretches, Carolina seemed to forget that they have Preseason All-American post player, which cost the Tar Heels. There were far too many second-half possessions when an outside shot went up without the ball going inside to Armando Bacot, who got two shots in the last 10 minutes of Pittsburgh’s 76–74 home victory over UNC at the Peterson Events Center.
Hubert Davis has never hesitated to make changes on the fly when his initial game plan hasn’t worked or he has a gut feeling that a change would work better, and that’s made a difference during No. 25 North Carolina’s four-game win streak. That philosophy started when he was a player trying to figure out how to be successful on the floor, and that’s carried over since he became head coach and began making decisions instead of suggestions.
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.
Carolina is back to playing well, has continued to improve during a four-game win streak, and now the Tar Heels are back in the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll after a three-week absence. UNC (9–4, 1–1 ACC) is No. 25 after following up its big 89–84 overtime victory Dec. 17 in New York over Ohio State with an 80–76 win Wednesday in Charlotte over Michigan. Losses by No. 21 Virginia Tech, No. 24 Marquette and No. 25 Arizona State dropped all three from the poll, aiding the Tar Heels’ return.