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Matt Barnes’ shooting is still bad news for Clippers

Clippers forward Matt Barnes reacts after failing to keep the ball from going out of bounds during a preseason game against the Utah Jazz on Friday.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)
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Those 18 pounds might not have been the only thing Matt Barnes shed over the summer.

He also appears to have lost his shooting touch.

The Clippers small forward made one of seven shots Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors and it actually qualified as an improvement over his previous showings in the preseason.

That’s how bad things have been for Barnes. You don’t need an analytics guru to know that he is cold from nearly every spot on the court.

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Barnes missed all three of his three-pointers and finished with three points during the Clippers’ 125-107 exhibition loss to the Warriors at Oracle Arena, dropping him to one for 18 (5.6%) beyond the arc in the preseason.

Overall, Barnes has made only three of 31 shots. That’s 9.7%.

“It’s just one of those … stretches,” Barnes said, adding an expletive for emphasis. “I’m pressing mentally. I think that’s it more than anything. I haven’t changed anything. I’ll continue to work on things, so they will start dropping.”

A game that thankfully didn’t count for Barnes held significant meaning for Jared Cunningham.

It was a chance for the training camp invitee to start for the Clippers in a nationally televised game against the team he grew up adoring as an Oakland native.

Cunningham gave himself a mostly happy homecoming with a team-high 23 points and three assists, though he also collected six turnovers and a smack to the face that earned Clippers Coach Doc Rivers a technical foul when someone from his bench complained about no foul being called.

“Obviously, they don’t know his name,” Rivers said of the officials’ treatment of Cunningham. “He got mauled three or four times and there was no call. But I thought he kept his composure for the most part through that.”

Cunningham was given the start because point guard Chris Paul was given the night off and backup Jordan Farmar was sidelined with lower back tightness. Farmar said he received an injection to soothe his discomfort and hopes to return later this week.

J.J. Redick had 21 points for the Clippers, who also rested Blake Griffin and fell to 1-5 in an exhibition season that will mercifully end Friday.

Cunningham scored in double figures for a second consecutive game and made a couple of plays he can use in his audition tape if he isn’t able to secure the final spot on the Clippers’ roster.

There was a one-handed tomahawk dunk, two three-pointers and an alley-oop pass to DeAndre Jordan for a dunk. Of course, there were also a few plays you might expect from someone with a Development League background.

Cunningham had a shot swatted by Festus Ezeli and was flustered into a turnover by Stephen Curry. He was also badly beaten on a layup by Curry, who had a game-high 27 points.

His cheering section of six family and friends was smaller than he would have liked.

“It was a real big crowd that wanted to come,” Cunningham said, “but I wasn’t able to get everybody tickets.”


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