OAKLAND -- Warriors forward Harrison Barnes, Golden State's budding star, showed off his six stitches before his exit interview on Friday. War wounds from the Game 6, series-clinching loss to San Antonio.
Barnes sustained a laceration above his right eye, just below his brow. Golden State officials said he passed the league-mandated concussion tests. When the second half began, Barnes bolted from the locker room to the court.
"I know my body pretty well," Barnes said. "I know when I can go and when I can't. ... I was feeling all right to go out there. I gave it my best shot."
The injury happened late in the second quarter. Spurs big man Boris Diaw drove to the basket and Barnes went for the block. He was undercut and took a hard fall, hitting his head on the court.
"I didn't see the blood," Barnes said. "I remember Steph (Curry) was like, "Stay down. Stay down.' I opened my eyes and there were like 20 people standing around me."
After several minutes, Barnes got up and went straight to the locker room, the trainer tending to his cut. He said he was eager to get back on the court but was forced to follow protocol.
The NBA's concussion policy dictates that any player suspected of having a concussion or exhibiting symptoms of a concussion will be removed from participation and evaluated. If the diagnosis is a concussion, that player is not allowed to return.
"Even while I was getting stitches I was trying to get off the table," Barnes said. "The medical staff did a great job of holding me back and making sure I did my tests. If it was my opinion, I would have dabbed the towel on my head and walked back out there."
Just before the third quarter tipped off, Barnes came running out of the locker room and onto the court. He played 12 minutes in the third quarter, missing all of his three shots.
But he sat out the entire fourth quarter with a headache, according to the Warriors. He shut himself down, he said.
"Just didn't feel comfortable driving the basket and getting hit again," Barnes said. "That was probably the biggest thing on my mind, especially with these fresh stitches. ... I just knew it was time. They kept coming back to me asking if I was just right. I could just tell I wasn't able to do what I wanted to do."