Clippers’ Matt Barnes has big night against Thunder

Matt Barnes celebrates after a play during the fourth quarter of a game Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
(Alonzo Adams / Associated Press)

Matt Barnes had 22 points, including making six of his seven three-point attempts to help the Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, 120-108.

“He was open, and there was ball movement,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said.

Barnes had another explanation for his success, specifically, Kevin Durant (sore foot) was out.

“With me not having to guard Durant, I was able to help a little bit more,” Barnes said.

When outside shooters such as Barnes and J.J. Redick are hitting their shots, it prevents the defense from collapsing on Chris Paul, something that is essential for the Clippers’ success while Blake Griffin is sidelined.


Griffin has missed 14 games after needing surgery Feb. 9 to remove a staph infection from his right elbow.

Barnes is averaging 9.9 points, but since Griffin has been out, he’s averaged 11.6 points.

He is also shooting a career-high 37.8% from beyond the three-point line this season.

Follow Melissa Rohlin on Twitter @melissarohlin