During the off-season, there were certain needs the Lakers were looking to fill. Back up point guard was the obvious, but nearly as important was finding a suitable reserve at small forward. The first name that the Lakers were hot after was Raja Bell but he spurned the Lakers for a bigger contract with the Utah Jazz. At that point the Lakers moved on to Matt Barnes who, to many people’s surprise, was still available late in the free agency period. He’d flirted with several teams but had not yet found a home and the Lakers were suddenly in the hunt for a guy that seemed to be a very good fit.
We’ve already discussed how nice it is to have Matt in the mix this year, but last night’s performance against the Timberwolves was the latest example of what Barnes can bring to the Lakers’ bench. ESPN Stats and Information tells us that:
Matt Barnes made all seven field goals and all five of his free throws, finishing with a team-high 24 points in the Lakers win against the Timberwolves. Barnes also had seven rebounds and six assists. In the last 25 seasons, Barnes is the third player to go 20-5-5 and shoot 100 percent from both the field and free throw line in a game. The other two players are Gary Payton against the Cavaliers in 1994-95, and Charles Barkley against the Spurs in 1988-89.
Pretty good company, there. Below is a quick highlight clip of Barnes from last night. Here’s to more nights like last night’s to come this season (even if we can’t realistically expect more perfect nights). Enjoy.
(video via TheRealCaCHooKaMan)