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Clippers' Matt Barnes suspended for one game

CLIPPERS FYI

The Clippers' forward was not told until Friday that he would have to sit out the game against the Raptors at Toronto.

February 01, 2013|By Broderick Turner

TORONTO -- Matt Barnes didn't find out until after the Clippers' 11 a.m. shoot-around Friday that the NBA had suspended him for one game without play for striking Minnesota backup center Greg Stiemsma in the neck during Wednesday night's game.

Barnes sat out the Clippers' loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

He had been ejected from the game Wednesday for a flagrant foul 2 after he shoved Stiemsma in the neck with 7 minutes 25 seconds left in the second quarter.

After that game, Barnes said he was upset because Stiemsma had elbowed him in the ribs and clipped him while setting screens during the game.

Barnes apologized to his teammates after the game.

"I kind of lost my control," Barnes said.

Barnes wasn't allowed inside the Air Canada Centre, so he watched the game at the team hotel and then joined the Clippers for their flight to Boston after Friday night's game.

Barnes was averaging a career-best 10.8 points per game.

"It hurts us in terms of minutes for players, rotations," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Matt obviously has played well for us, so it's another man down."

Billups making progress

At some point during the Clippers' eight-game trip, Chauncey Billups is hoping to get in a game.

He has been out because of tendinitis in his left foot. After increasing his workouts, Billups is waiting to see how his foot responds. He has played some five-on-five and some three-on-three at practice.

The veteran guard is looking forward to practicing Saturday in Boston as another step in his recovery.

"I'm inching my way closer," Billups said. "I'm hoping to be back sometime soon."

Billups hasn't played since Dec. 3, and he has been in only three of the team's 48 games. He said that having the sit out after initially coming back from a left Achilles' tendon injury has been the most difficult for him.

"I thought it was going to be a couple of weeks," Billups said. "Obviously it's been a lot longer than that.

"That was actually a lot more frustrating than sitting out with the Achilles', because I had got back and got a taste of it. It is what it is, and I hope when I come back this time that I'll be back for good."

Etc.

The Clippers' bench, normally one of the best, were outscored by the Raptors' bench, 42-24, Friday.

Rudy Gay had 20 points for the Raptors off the bench, and John Lucas had 17.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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