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These Lakers backups mostly fail to impress

With Metta World Peace continuing to serve a suspension, Devin Ebanks and Matt Barnes combine for six points. Ebanks, however, does collect eight rebounds.

May 01, 2012|By Ben Bolch

Banned from the playoffs again, Metta World Peace spent part of his day online, detailing how he had slimmed down during the season.

Then the small forwards he left behind turned into lightweights right before Lakers fans' eyes.

Devin Ebanks and Matt Barnes had mostly forgettable games Tuesday during Game 2 of the Lakers' Western Conference first-round playoff series, combining to make three of 12 shots.

It didn't cost the Lakers during a 104-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets, but it wasn't exactly the kind of boost the Lakers had hoped to receive with World Peace serving the third game of his seven-game suspension for elbowing James Harden in the head.

After splurging for 12 points in the Lakers' playoff opener, Ebanks had four points on two-for-seven shooting, though he did collect eight rebounds and two assists. Barnes had two points, making only one of five shots, as well as four assists and two rebounds.

Together they came up well short of the 15.9 points World Peace had averaged in the 10 games preceding his suspension. World Peace could return as soon as a Game 7 in this series, not that it looks as if that is a strong possibility with the Lakers holding a 2-0 series lead.

"We play as hard as we can and do what we can in his absence," Ebanks said.

"When he comes back, it strengthens our team."

Perhaps the best indication of how little the Lakers were getting from their small forwards Tuesday came over the game's final three minutes, when they left both on the bench and instead went with a lineup featuring two point guards.

Ebanks' only notable fourth-quarter plays involved having a shot swatted by JaVale McGee and then committing a charging foul.

Barnes missed every shot he took except for a layup in the first quarter. He was 0 for 3 on three-point attempts.

On the plus side, Ebanks and Barnes helped hold Denver's Danilo Gallinari to 13 points on five-for-18 shooting. Gallinari had led the Nuggets with 19 points in Game 1.

"I felt I played decent defense and [got] rebounds, was active," Ebanks said.

"I missed a couple of shots, but that's going to happen."

World Peace was busy in a different way Tuesday.

He tweeted details of his season-long weight loss, including a picture showing a printout of his weight and percentage of body fat throughout the season.

According to the figures, the 6-foot-7 World Peace weighed 268 pounds early in training camp on Dec. 11 and had shed 22 pounds by April 30.

His body fat percentage had plunged from 35.7 to 21.4 over the same period.

"Out of shape early because of lockout," World Peace tweeted. "Couldn't get treatment so I took off a flat 3 months. I did nothing."

World Peace also tweeted that he was off to a 5 a.m. workout Tuesday and promised to release his diet Wednesday on his website,

RonArtest.com.

He posted a shirtless picture of himself flexing his chest and arm muscles.

"Pardon my body … I'll put a shirt on," he tweeted.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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