Andrew Bynum will play in Game 5

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In a meeting with reporters this morning, Andrew Bynum told reporters that he will play in Game 5 despite the increasingly painful ligament tear in his knee.

Bynum is considered to be the deciding factor in this series, as it’s been his impact that’s been most effective for the Lakers. Without Bynum, the Lakers have been vulnerable to front court attacks from Glen Davis and Kevin Garnett and the matchup sets tend to swing in favor of Boston.

While Bynum did confirm that he’ll play, he did say his knee will again determine how many minutes he’ll play. Him getting minutes in Game 5 is considerably different from getting significant minutes in Game 5. And just as he’s feeling better after having the knee drained, again, odds are just as good that he could be feeling worse on Sunday.

Still, this comes as good news for the Lakers who have to feel like they have a good shot at taking a lead back to LA with a chance to close out the Celtics. Some have said that depending on Glen Davis and Nate Robinson is not a sound strategy for the Celtics and that the Lakers have proven they cant take care of business as long as a series of things don’t go wrong for them.

The Celtics may want to try and attack Bynum early to get him moving and not let him rest. They don’t have a player that can matchup with him in the post, but the more impact his knee sustains, the more he’ll feel it on offense.

It’s bizarre that in a series with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Marquis Daniels, that it’s the 22-year-old’s knee that has been the topic of the most discussion, but it also speaks to Bynum’s resiliency in the face of a severe injury that he’s managed to have such an impact when he’s been able to stay on the floor.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”

Report: Raptors’ Delon Wright out a month

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Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.

Raptors media relations:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.

Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.

The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.