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Lakers' Matt Barnes takes his medicine after being suspended

The reserve forward sits out Friday's game against Utah after drawing a one-game suspension for his actions in Thursday's win over Dallas. After sending out a testy tweet earlier, he sounds contrite in an interview.

April 01, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Lakers forward Matt Barnes is restrained by Dallas assistant coach Terry Stotts after getting into an altercation with Mavericks guard Jason Terry (not pictured) during Thursday's game at Staples Center.
Lakers forward Matt Barnes is restrained by Dallas assistant coach Terry… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Reporting from Salt Lake City — Matt Barnes was on the telephone, sounding nothing like the player who had gone on Twitter and blasted the Dallas Mavericks and Jason Terry.

This Barnes was contrite during a phone interview Friday about his one-game suspension handed down by the NBA for his role in an altercation during Thursday night's Lakers victory over Dallas at Staples Center.

Barnes didn't play Friday night against the Utah Jazz and it cost him $17,650.

Photos: Lakers vs. Jazz

"To be suspended for pushing somebody is a little frustrating," Barnes said. "But I let my temper get the best of me last night and I deserve the punishment."

The pushing began early in the fourth quarter after Terry shoved Steve Blake down on the court for a foul.

Blake got up and went chest to chest with Terry. Barnes stepped in, pushing Terry. When Dallas assistant coach Terry Stotts tried to wrap up Barnes, he was pushed aside and fell onto courtside seats.

Lakers-Jazz box score

Barnes, Terry, Blake and Dallas' Brendan Haywood all were ejected. Terry, originally assessed a flagrant foul two, had it downgraded to a flagrant one.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson wasn't happy with Barnes.

"He's definitely going to have to check that stuff at the door when it comes to the playoffs," Jackson said. "You don't want to play short-handed in the playoffs. Third-partying is not a way to step things in the right direction."

Jackson said the "valor" in standing up for a teammate is something "that we admire," but it can be costly.

Jackson was asked how an emotional player like Barnes can control himself during heated games.

"He may not be able to," Jackson said. "But we're going to ask him to. And that's what you have to do."

Earlier in the day, Barnes tweeted something unflattering about the Mavericks.

"Me & the Golden St homies laid out the blueprint on how to beat Dallas.."PUNK'EM" Aint changed homey . . . ," his tweet said.

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"Yeah, everybody was like 'he's talking [trash] on Twitter,'" Barnes said later. "But enough with the [trash]-talking. We already know what Dallas is. It's been proven time and time again."

Barnes said he was going to watch the Lakers-Jazz game at the team hotel and then get ready to play Sunday against Denver.

Artest has words for Mark Cuban

Ron Artest didn't like Dallas owner Mark Cuban's saying he wanted the Lakers forward to have the ball in his hands more and be forced to make decisions in the triangle offense.

"He said too much," Artest said. "We'll probably see them in the playoffs. He's a smart man. Let's see if he's right. He's got confidence in his team. I don't feel as if they can beat us."

Still, Artest said he's willing to work with Cuban.

"I'm going to go into his office to see if I can get a show on his network," said a smiling Artest, referring to Cuban's HDNet.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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