Matt Barnes returned to an empty arena.
It was 11:15 p.m., about an hour after the Lakers' 104-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday night, and there was Barnes back on the court doing something he had struggled with all night: shooting.
Barnes has made only two of his 11 shots in the two playoff games, going 0 for 7 from three-point range. Though he described his sprained right ankle as only 75%-78% recovered, Barnes worked out with Lakers development coach Phil Handy, taking a wide range of jumpers from the baseline, the elbows at the top of the lane and from three-point range.
It served as one way Barnes hopes he can become more effective while playing with an injury. Though Barnes didn't talk to reporters after Thursday's practice, Lakers Coach Mike Brown suggested Barnes will have to simply play through it.