Clippers’ Matt Barnes to play against Denver

Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Matt Barnes walked out onto the Clippers’ court Friday and started shooting wearing dark goggles, sort of a Terminator look for the small forward.

Barnes has missed the last 16 games recovering from surgery to repair a torn retina in his left eye, but Coach Doc Rivers said Barnes would play Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.

And, no, Barnes won’t be wearing those shaded goggles, but he will wear a pair when he plays.


“I think it’ll be good,” Rivers said. “First of all, I think Matt is our best cutter. So that’ll give us some of that again. And I think right now, when I go semi-small, I can go with [Antawn Jamison] or Stephen [Jackson] and Stephen and Matt being together defensively could be really good.”

Besides being out almost a month recovering from three procedures on his eye, Barnes missed several more games because of a bruised right thigh.

He has played in just eight games this season, averaging 5.9 points a game.

Rivers said he told Barnes to dress for Wednesday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, “but I had no plans on playing him.”

“I told him, ‘Listen, you just never know. I’ll throw you in. I have no fear of that.’ But I didn’t want to,” Rivers said. “He worked out [Thursday]. We brought in four of the guys just to run him through stuff. Then he gets a real practice today. So that’ll be good.”


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