Barnes has moderately sprained right ankle
The Lakers have personnel issues beyond the possible suspension of forward Metta World Peace, who was ejected from the game Sunday for delivering an elbow to the head of Oklahoma City guard James Harden. They’re also unsure about Matt Barnes’ health.
The Lakers said Barnes has a moderately sprained right ankle after the Lakers’ 114-106 double-overtime victory Sunday over the Thunder, according to team spokesman John Black. Barnes, who will be re-evaluated on Monday, initially limped toward the locker room with 28 seconds left in the first half, but he returned to the court and played more than nine minutes in the third quarter.
Barnes sat out the final 2:42 of the third quarter and the entire fourth quarter, but Coach Mike Brown didn’t attribute that to his injury. The Lakers featured a unit of Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Devin Ebanks, Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol while slicing a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
“I was going to go with the guys that were helping us roll,” Brown said.
Barnes, who had three points on one-of-three shooting, six rebounds, one assist and one steal in 17 minutes, has emerged recently as a dependable bench option. He’s consistently brings energy, hustles for loose balls and makes smart cuts in the flow of the offense.
In the last five games, Barnes has averaged 14.2 points on 56.5% shooting as well as a 52.6% mark from three-point range, a large improvement from his season averages of 7.9 points, 47% shooting from the field and 33.8% mark from long range.