Nuggets' Barton returns for 1st action since April 23
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.
The Suns own a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.
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