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Clippers' Matt Barnes gives it a solid shot against Oklahoma City

Forward, who is playing with a dislocated pinkie, has 19 points, nine rebounds and four steals, and is assigned to guard All-Star Kevin Durant for much of the game.

November 21, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka shoots between the Clippers' forwards Matt Barnes and Blake Griffin in the second quarter Wednesday.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka shoots between the Clippers'… (Sue Ogrocki / Associated…)

OKLAHOMA CITY — The pain Matt Barnes felt in his dislocated left pinkie was equally as painful as how he felt after the Clippers' 117-111 overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

Barnes stepped in at small forward in place of Caron Butler, who sat out because of a strained shoulder, and he stepped up to defend All-Star forward Kevin Durant.

In a game Barnes said the Clippers "felt like we should have won," he did his part by scoring 19 points, grabbing nine rebounds, getting four steals and blocking a shot.

"We're down a few guys," Barnes said. "But everyone is ready to step up and play hard."

Barnes played 43 minutes 34 seconds, chasing Durant most of that time.

Durant finished with a game-high 35 points. He was only seven for 19 from the field, but was 19 for 21 from the free-throw line.

"I'm trying to make him earn it," Barnes said. "He shot 21 free throws, which is tough. That's kind of hard to swallow. But with a great player like him, you want to be physical. They really weren't letting us be physical tonight with them. He's a great player and he carried his team like he's supposed to."

Barnes said it's frustrating to have the officials call so many fouls.

"I really can't say nothing about the refs because I know they will fine me," Barnes said. "But this is a man's game. We've got to be able to play. No one is out here trying to hurt each other. We just want to go out here and play hard and play basketball."

As for his finger, Barnes said he injured it during the exhibition season.

"It feels good when it doesn't get hit," he said. "As soon as they hit it, it feels like it's going to fall off. So it's just 30, 45 seconds of pain and then it goes away. It's just something that I've got to deal with."

Butler's injury changes rotation

With Butler not being able to play, it forced Coach Vinny Del Negro to make adjustments to the rotation of players.

Barnes started, but Willie Green, Lamar Odom and Jamal Crawford took turns defending the 6-foot-9 Durant.

"It changes what we do," Del Negro said. "It changes the bench."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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