It’s unclear if Willis said something to Barnes first, but it’s probably safe to assume Barnes didn’t know she was Harden’s mother. When Harden’s brother confronted Barnes after the game, Barnes apologized.
“My older son walked over to him and told him to apologize … and he did,” Willis told TMZ. “What he told me was that he would never want to disrespect anyone’s mother because his mother passed from cancer … and that he was sorry. I accept his apology.”
Harden scored 20 points in the second half and helped the Rockets erase a 13-point deficit. You’d hate to think it took Barnes saying something to his mom to motivate him, but at least the Rockets didn’t play the way they did in Game 1.
Good on Barnes for apologizing, even if he did have a lapse in judgment.