Matt Barnes said Saturday afternoon that he would play in Game 1 against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday at Staples Center despite suffering from a sprained right ankle that forced him from the Lakers’ victory April 21 over the Oklahoma City Thunder and sidelined him for Thursday’s regular-season finale against the Sacramento Kings.
Barnes expects to serve as a backup to Devin Ebanks at small forward.
Metta World Peace will serve the second game of his seven-game suspension.
“I’m going to play no matter what,” Barnes said. “We know (World Peace) is not here for the first round. There’s nothing we can do about it. We just have to play hard. I want to come in a provide energy and do what I do before I got hurt.”
Asked what troubled him most about his sprained ankle, Barnes said, “Moving.”