Nuggets' Barton returns for 1st action since April 23

Bart Young / National Basketball Association / Getty

Denver Nuggets wing Will Barton returned to the lineup for Game 2 versus the Phoenix Suns - the first time he's suited up since late April.

The 30-year-old hadn't played since April 23 due to a significant right hamstring strain. The Nuggets edged out the Portland Trail Blazers 4-2 in Round 1 in his absence.

Barton averaged 12.7 points on a 50.7% effective field-goal rate in 56 regular-season appearances, adding four rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. The Nuggets outscored opponents by six points per 100 possessions with him on the floor this season; that net rating dropped to 3.4 points per 100 when he hit the bench.

Denver has made do without several key members of its backcourt rotation in recent months. In addition to Barton, star guard Jamal Murray is out for the season with a torn ACL, and PJ Dozier has no timetable to return from an adductor injury.

With those core players absent, 30-year-old rookie Facundo Campazzo and 28-year-old journeyman Austin Rivers have started all of the Nuggets' postseason games so far.

The Suns own a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

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Nuggets' Barton returns for 1st action since April 23
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