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News Editor for Complex Sports. @cyuscavage

Matt Barnes Reportedly Accused of Choking Woman at NYC Nightclub (UPDATE)

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Barnes has also denied the accusations made against him through a representative, according to TMZ Sports. Barnes reportedly claims that he did not start a fight and choke a woman at New York City nightclub Avenue early Monday morning and says that he was defending himself during the alleged altercation.

The rep told TMZ Sports that it all started when DeMarcus Cousins accidentally bumped a woman sitting at a booth next to the one occupied by Barnes and Cousins at the club and that several men who were with the woman tried to get physical with Barnes. Cousins reportedly jumped into the mix to help defend his teammate before the police were called. Barnes claims he has taken photos of the injuries he sustained during the incident to prove his side of the story, and his lawyer told TMZ Sports that Barnes is "hopeful no charges will be pressed."

Luke Walton wants and expects Julius Randle to be one of the Lakers’ leaders

The third-year forward has become one of Los Angeles’ best players, and his coach has noticed. Their strong relationship should pay dividends for the team.

 

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Lou Williams’ 40-point game will (deservedly) draw all the headlines following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 103-100 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, but one moment featuring Julius Randle and head coach Luke Walton is worth noting.

No, it wasn’t because Randle had some unbelievable or unforgettable game against Memphis. He didn’t, tallying just six points on eight shots to go with six rebounds in almost 30 minutes.

That’s been below the norm for Randle in his third season. The burly, versatile forward has become a do-it-all weapon for Los Angeles, taking on scoring, rebounding, and playmaking duties while on the floor. He’s upped his defensive effort and ability as well, and all of those traits have solidified him as a key member of the Lakers’ young core moving forward.

Walton has noticed, and had to pull Randle aside due to his lack of production during the loss to the Grizzlies at one point. His comments on why following the game were illuminating about his and Randle’s relationship, and how valuable he sees Randle as being to the team: