Former Clippers forward Matt Barnes traded to Memphis Grizzlies

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angels Clippers, NBA.com

 

Former Clippers small forward Matt Barnes on Thursday was traded from the Charlotte Hornets to the Memphis Grizzlies for guard Luke Ridnour. Charlotte then traded Ridnour and a conditional 2016 draft pick to Oklahoma City for guard Jeremy Lamb, Charlotte general manager Rich Cho announced.

Barnes, along with post Spencer Hawes, was recently traded to Charlotte for wing Lance Stephenson.

Clippers set to introduce Lance Stephenson to Los Angeles media

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson/Photo courtesy of Charlotte Hornets, ESPN.com

 

The Clippers on Thursday afternoon will introduce newly acquired Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles media at a news conference.

Doc Rivers, Clippers coach and president of basketball operations, on Monday traded small forward Matt Barnes and forward/center Spencer Hawes to the Charlotte Hornets for Stephenson, who at 6-foot-5 can play both guard positions and small forward.

Stephenson, just 24, played his first four seasons with the Indiana Pacers. His final season with them was his statistical best as he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 2013-14.

Stephenson signed with Charlotte after that season, but he did not follow up his previous season with anything similar. He averaged 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in his only season there. He started just 25 of 61 games in which he played.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 113-100 Game 7 loss to the Rockets

Jamal Crawford brings the ball up court as the Rockets’ James Harden whoops it up during the third quarter of Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday at Toyota Center in Houston/Photo by James Nielsen, Houston Chronicle

 

 

– The first thing we take from this Game 7 loss is that had the Clippers taken care of business when they should have in Game 6 at Staples Center when they had the Rockets right where they wanted them with a 19-point lead late in the third quarter, there never would have been a Game 7. And the Clippers would be playing the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals instead of the Rockets. You snooze, you lose.

– The Trio of J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes struggled shooting from the field for the third consecutive game – all Clippers losses. Redick scored 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting, Barnes was scoreless on 0 of 2 and Crawford scored a hard 17 points on 6 of 18. They were a combined 5 of 19 from 3-point range. As a team, the Clippers shot just 25 percent (7 of 28) from beyond the arc, also their third poor performance from there in succession.

Doc Rivers bemoaned the turnovers, noting his Clippers were “a low-turnover” team all season. The Clippers had 18, the Rockets 17 total (16 player, 1 team). But the Clippers scored only 17 points off Rockets miscues, while the Rockets scored 27 off the Clippers’. Redick had six turnovers, Blake Griffin five and Chris Paul four.

– Other than Crawford’s 17 points – and again, they were not a good 17 points – the Clippers received virtually nothing from their bench. Austin Rivers and Glen “Big Baby” Davis each scored two points. That was it. Houston got 11 points from Corey Brewer, eight from Terrence Jones, four from Pablo Prigioni and two from Clint Capela. Moreover, Prigioni had four assists and three steals in 20 productive minutes.

– The Clippers did well to fight back in this game, pulling within three points in the third quarter and within eight twice late in the fourth. But Doc Rivers was not happy when Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer with just under a minute to play to increase his team’s lead to 11 and sealing the Clippers’ fate. Rivers was obviously dismayed when he called a timeout, looking at his players as if to say, “Why was he so open?” Rivers afterward said his team missed a lot of assignments. The Rockets shot 40 percent (12 of 30) from 3-point range.

BONUS TAKE: Rockets guard James Harden did not shoot well from the field, making 7 of 20. But his game-high 31 points included 18 trips to the free-throw line; he made 15. By the way, the Clippers shot just 17 free throws all game, the Rockets 41.

J.J. Redick says crushing Game 7 loss feels ‘like a wake or a funeral’

Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers congratulates Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets after the Rockets defeated the Clippers 113 to 100 during Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Toyota Center for the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 17, 2015 in Houston, Texas.   (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Blake Griffin of the Clippers shakes hands with the Rockets’ Dwight Howard following Houston’s 113-100 victory over the Clippers in Game 7/Photo by Scott Halleran, Getty Images

 

J.J. Redick wasn’t the only member of the Clippers to struggle in the last three games of the Western Conference semifinals won by the Houston Rockets on Sunday via a 113-100 count over the Clippers in Game 7 at Toyota Center in Houston.

Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes also struggled.

Redick on Sunday scored 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting, 2 of 9 from 3-point range. He also had six of his team’s 18 turnovers.

Afterward, Redick described the mood.

“Still in shock,” he said. “Sadness. Disappointment. You never want to equate sports with death, but it does feel like a wake or a funeral.”

Five things to take from Clippers’ 124-103 Game 5 loss to the Rockets

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets takes the ball by Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Toyota Center for the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2015 in Houston, Texas.   The Rockets won 124-103. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Blake Griffin plays defense against James Harden of Houston in the Rockets’ 124-103 victory over the Clippers in Game 5 on Tuesday at Toyota Center in Houston/Photo by Scott Halleran, Getty Images

 

– The Rockets played much better defense in this one. The Clippers’ shooting percentage of 41.8 percent bears that out. What really sticks out is that J.J. Redick (3 of 12), Matt Barnes (1 of 8) and Jamal Crawford (2 of 10) were a combined 6 of 30 from the field. That equates to 20 percent for those three. Moreover, they were a combined 3 of 17 from 3-point range, with Redick going 1-for-8. The Rockets, by the way, shot 54.1 percent.

– With DeAndre Jordan getting into early foul trouble – he had his third foul early in the second quarter and fourth midway through the third – he was only able to play just a little more than 24 minutes. That was part of the reason why the Rockets scored more than half of their points – 64 – in the paint. That played right into the hands of James Harden and Dwight Howard. Harden had a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and Howard scored 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds.

– Speaking of rebounds, the Rockets blasted the Clippers on the boards, outrebounding them by a whopping 58-39 count. Besides Howard’s 15 and Harden’s 11, Josh Smith – who started at forward instead of Terrence Jones – had seven rebounds and Trevor Ariza pulled down eight. Blake Griffin had 16 for the Clippers and Jordan had 11, but no other player had more than five. That was Spencer Hawes.

– The reason the statistics are so much in favor of Houston is because, according to coach Doc Rivers, the Rockets played with a sense or urgency and the Clippers did not. Griffin, who had a good game with 30 points and those 16 rebounds, said his team played “like we had a couple of bullets in the chamber and we can’t do that.”

– With all this, there was actually a bit of good news. Chris Paul played 35 minutes and showed no signs that his left hamstring, which caused him to miss the first two games of this series, was bothering him. He scored 22 points on 9 of 16 shooting – 4 of 9 from 3-point range. He also doled out 10 assists.

Matt Barnes fined $50,000 for verbal sparring with James Harden’s mom

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes told reporters at the Friday morning shootaround he expected to get fined for remarks made to a fan who turned out to be the mother of Houston Rockets’ guard James Harden during Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals series Wednesday at Toyota Center in Houston.

Sure enough, he was fined $50,000 by the NBA for what it termed inappropriate language.

“We’ve made our peace,” Barnes said, before he was officially fined, of he and Harden’s mother, Monja Willis. “We’ve spoken twice since the incident. She said something, I said something back.”

Barnes said he had heard about some of what he supposedly said.

“I’ve heard speculation as to what I allegedly said, which is crazy,” Barnes said. “Crazy, untrue, crazy. But it is what it is.”

Barnes, who said he received a “tongue-lashing” from Clippers coach Doc Rivers, wouldn’t say what was actually said.

“That’s between her and I,” he said.

Barnes had just received a technical foul late in the first quarter Wednesday after bumping Harden. Barnes said he didn’t know who was chirping at him.

“I had no idea who it was,” he said. “I didn’t find out who it was until I was on the bus. But I saw D.J. (DeAndre Jordan) speak to her at halftime as well and I was like, ‘Who was that?’ He’s like, ‘Jame’s Harden’s mom.’ “I was like, ‘Oh, God, that’s going to make it a hundred times worse.’ I don’t know her, I don’t really know James too well and like I said, we’ve made our peace and we’re focused on winning this game.”

All that said, Barnes – speaking in generalities – doesn’t like the idea that fans can say whatever they want without suffering any repercussions.

“Well, what’s crazy is they can say anything and everything from things about our kids to our wives to anything and we say one thing and they run and tell and next thing you know, I’m proably going to get fined $25,000,” he said, before knowing it was $50,000. “So, I think I heard D.J. say and D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) said it before, you know, we’re human, too. You know what I mean?

“But they can pick and prod us like animals in a cage and run and tell when we respond. So if you don’t want nothing said to you, don’t say nothing to begin
with.”

Rivers wouldn’t say what he said to Barnes.

“I’m not going to talk about that much,” he said prior to Friday’s Game 3 tip-off at Staples Center. “I just was not pleased. I made that clear. And I made it clear to Matt and the entire team. So I’m just going to leave it at that.”

Harden talked briefly about the incident at the Rockets’ morning shootaround.

“Any situation where you’re talking about somebody else’s parents, that’s just disrespectful,” Harden said. “I’m focused on Game 3 and we’re very focused and locked in. There will be some great intensity tonight.”