Western Notes: Barnes, Douglas-Roberts, White

The Clippers erased a 19-point deficit to the Jazz to win their 16th straight game tonight, but the NBA's best team still only has a one-game lead for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Thunder are tied in the loss column with the Clippers, and the Spurs are just a game and a half back of L.A. As usual, the West is stacked at the top. Here's more on the Clips and the teams trying to chase them down.

  • Clippers forward Matt Barnes believes he was "stuck in a bad situation" under former Lakers coach Mike Brown, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times writes. "Last year, playing with the Lakers, I was told when I could shoot. If I made mistakes, I'd come out of the game," Barnes said. "This year Vinny (Del Negro) has installed a lot of trust in me.  He lets me go out there and play my game. If I mess up, he still sticks with me and that goes a long way with any player."
  • New Mavericks swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts, writing on his Tumblr account, chronicles his experiences in training camp with the Lakers this fall. He also reveals his decision to turn down a seven-figure contract from a team overseas to play in the D-League, which he felt offered the fastest route back to the NBA (hat tip to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com).
  • Royce White's grandfather told Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that White expects to work out with the Rockets next week (Twitter link). It's unclear whether that means he'll be formally returning to the team. 
  • JaVale McGee is playing less than 20 minutes per game after re-signing with the Nuggets for four years and $44MM this summer, but coach George Karl said the team doesn't regret committing so much money to him, HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram tweets
  • Michael Scotto of RealGM.com chronicles the journey of Mavs rookie and former Air Force Staff Sergeant Bernard James, including his early experiences in the NBA. 

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