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Clippers’ Matt Barnes blames Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for $25K fine

Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes’ bank account will be $25,000 lighter due to his behavior against the Phoenix Suns last weekend.

The NBA fined the 12-year veteran Tuesday for directing inappropriate language at a fan at US Airways Center.

ESPN reported the incident happened with 4:28 left in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 120-100 win in Phoenix.

Barnes, who played one season with the Suns, was on the court for 26 minutes Sunday and finished with just four points on 1-for-9 shooting. He was assessed a technical foul for his second-quarter outburst.

The defensive specialist took to Twitter on Tuesday and implicated Suns majority owner Robert Sarver, although Barnes didn’t explicitly say his name.

If true, it appears Sarver and Barnes didn’t stay on the best of terms after the forward left the Valley following the 2008-09 season in favor of the Orlando Magic.

The Clippers starter also posted a couple of tweets, which appear to be directed toward the league, addressing his recent fines. He pokes some fun at himself in the latter tweet.

ESPN reported Wednesday that the NBA reviewed the incident and confirmed it wasn’t Barnes’ interaction with Sarver that led to the fine.

Barnes contends the fine came as a result of his interaction with Sarver, but admitted he was engaging with other fans near the Clippers’ bench, as well.

“I was talking to a 13-year-old boy and his dad,” Barnes told ESPN. “We were kind of going back and forth and there were two guys behind them that were heckling me the whole game. I was laughing and messing with them. I had a bad game shooting and they were just on me … Then the owner [Sarver] said what he said, and I responded. You can ask him what he said. He said enough to make me respond. We don’t like each other. He didn’t like me when I was there and I didn’t like him when I was there, so it is what it is.”

The small forward added he has a history with the Suns owner and that Sunday wasn’t the first time he has been heckled by him during a game.

“He’s said some stuff about me before that fueled a few of my old teammates that were there from the Clippers,” Barnes said. “I’ve never liked him, and as soon as he said that to me, it got me going. But if players are held to a high standard, owners should be held to an even higher standard.

“I’m not even blaming him. If you’re going to say something like that to me, expect me to respond, but don’t go run and tell when I do go say something.”