Clippers' Matt Barnes fined following ejection vs. Timberwolves
With just under a minute remaining in the third quarter and L.A. leading 77-75, Barnes fouled Kevin Love hard across the body on a drive. Using his right arm, Barnes swung at the ball from Love's right side, contacting the ball but knocking Love off-balance by hitting his right shoulder. After a video review, the game officials assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 to Barnes, which necessitates an automatic ejection.
Barnes disputed the decision in a direct conversation with one of the referees, and he continued to protest even after teammates Chris Paul, Willie Green and Stephen Jackson intervened to direct him towards the locker room. On his way off the court, Barnes appeared to shout profanities in reaction to the call. He departed with three points (on 1-for-2 shooting) and two rebounds in 11 minutes.
The NBA league office actually sided with Barnes on this one, downgrading his Flagrant Foul 2 to a Flagrant Foul 1 upon further review. The Flagrant Foul 2 designation applies to fouls that are both "unnecessary and excessive" whereas the Flagrant Foul 1 designation merely requires that the contact be "unnecessary." The fact that Barnes was technically making a play on the ball and that his foul didn't send Love crashing to the court or cause any injury likely helped his case here.
This is the second time the NBA has fined Barnes this season. Back in November, Barnes was fined $25,000 for failing to leave the court in a timely manner and for using inappropriate language on his Twitter account following his ejection from a game against the Thunder.
Barnes, 33, recently returned from an extended absence due to an eye injury, and he is averaging 6.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game this season. The 11-year veteran is on the books for $3.3 million this year.Video via YouTube user frank den