Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
According to ESPN.com, which cited an “NBA spokesman,” the $25,000 fine Matt Barnes received Tuesday for an incident that took place Sunday at Phoenix was not because he exchanged inappropriate language with Suns owner Robert Sarver.
When the NBA released its statement about the situation, it said Barnes was fined for directing inappropriate language toward a fan during the Clippers’ 120-100 victory. Barnes took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and said that was not true, that it was directed at Sarver after Sarver started it.
“As players, we’re obviously held to a higher standard; I’ve had to watch myself on that. But I think if we’re held to high standards, owners should be held to even higher standards,” Barnes told ESPN.com at Thursday’s shootaround ahead of Thursday night’s game at Utah.. “When an elder says something derogatory toward me and I respond, I thought it would stay there. It’s one grown man saying something to another grown man. I’m not going to run and tell, but the fact that he or someone around him told (the league), it’s crazy.”
Barnes did admit he was having words with some fans as well, but still believes his fine was because of his back-and-forth with Sarver.
Matt Barnes/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
Forward Matt Barnes on Tuesday was fined $25,000 for what the NBA said was directing inappropriate language at a fan, it was announced by Rod Thorn, president of basketball operations for the NBA.
A news release stated the incident took place with 4:28 left in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 120-100 victory over the Suns at US Airways Center in Phoenix.
However, Barnes took to Twitter to let everyone know it wasn’t a fan he was exchanging pleasantries with:
“Another 25k! The part of the story the nba hasn’t told you was my language wasnt directed at a fan, I was talkn to the owner of the Suns….”
“..Who was sitting on the baseline & I only said something to him AFTER he cussed at me, BUT because I didn’t SNITCH I get fined!!” #thecode
Robert Sarver is the majority owner of the Suns.
Matt Barnes on Sunday puts up a shot against Eric Bledsoe of Phoenix/Photo by Associated Press
Even with just a few minutes left and a lead of 17 points (101-94) over the Phoenix Suns following a 15-0 run Sunday, Clippers coach Doc Rivers intimated he didn’t think his team was out of the woods because of how rapidly Phoenix can get on an offensive roll.
“We talked about it before the game; Phoenix doesn’t go away,” said Rivers, whose team won 120-100 at US Airways Center in Phoenix. “There’s no lead safe when you have Isaiah Thomas and (Eric) Bledsoe and (Goran) Dragic and Gerald Green on the other team. Honest to goodness, with three minutes left, I did not feel safe.
“That’s who they are. They’re capable and you have to keep your focus when you’re playing them.”
The Clippers (30-14) on Monday night host the Denver Nuggets (18-26) at 7:30.
Chris Paul had 23 points and 12 assists in Sunday’s win at Phoenix/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
The Clippers on Sunday afternoon took a 12-point lead over the host Phoenix Suns into the fourth quarter and then the Clippers outscored Phoenix by eight points in the final stanza to come away with an impressive 120-100 victory at US Airways Center in Phoenix.
The Clippers (30-14) got 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds from Chris Paul; 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Blake Griffin; 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks from DeAndre Jordan; 20 points from J.J. Redick; Spencer Hawes scored 11; and Jamal Crawford had 10 points.
The Clippers shot 49.4 percent from the field, 43.5 (10 of 23) from 3-point range. Matt Barnes had an off-night, shooting just 1 of 9 from the field for four points.
Isaiah Thomas led the Suns (26-20) with 25 points off the bench. Eric Bledsoe had 17 points, Alex Len scored 15 and Goran Dragic just 10 on 3 of 11 shooting.
Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
The Clippers (29-14) will play at Phoenix on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Suns (26-19) are a guard-oriented team can get hot and do some damage in a hurry. Point guard Eric Bledsoe leads in scoring and assists with respective averages of 16.9 and 6.0. Shooting guard Goran Dragic averages 16.7 points, backup point guard Isaiah Thomas averages 15.1 points and 3.8 assists and backup shooting guard/small forward Gerald Green scores 13.7 points per game.
“They’re a great team, especially at home,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said Saturday at practice at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista. “They’re one of those teams that’s never out of a game.”
Phoenix averages 107.5 points, third in the league. The Clippers are fourth at 107.1.
J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
The Clippers haven’t played a game since Monday, so when they take the court Saturday night against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center,. they will have gone four days without playing.
That’s not to mention coach Doc Rivers gave the team two days off from practice Tuesday and Wednesday. To guard J.J. Redick, it’s all a bit strange.
“I’m ready to get back playing,” he told reporters ahead of practice Friday in Playa Vista. “It’s always weird to have this long of a break during the season. It’s good on the body for a couple of days, it’s good on the mind, too, to get away and have a couple of days off.”
But, Redick said, “When you’re in season mode and you’re mind is wanting to play, your body wants to play, it’s a little weird.”
Redick and the rest of the Clippers will have plenty to do Saturday. The Suns are 5-3 and are tied for the fourth-highest points-per-game average in the NBA at 104.8.
Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry said before Saturday afternoon’s game at Staples Center that the Clippers are “a really, really good team,” and “there’s no reason they shouldn’t be thinking about a championship.”
“They have the best bench in the league and really, really good starters,” said Gentry, a former Clippers coach. “I’ve seen games when their second unit has gotten separation for them (over the opposition). They’re that deep. They’re loaded. I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be talking about playing in June.”