Lakers Andrew Bynum hyperextends knee, leaves game, MRI Wednesday

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UPDATE 1:53 am: Talked to Bynum as he walked out of Staples Center (with other media), and he showed no noticable limp. He said that if this had been a big playoff game he would have been back out there, but that it was a little more than precautionary.

“It was painful right when it happened but it’s not that bad right now,” Bynum said.

Phil Jackson said he hoped it would not be something that lingers.

“He could be out a couple games,” Jackson said. “There could be a bone bruise involved when you hyperextend the knee. His reassurance was saying, ‘I’m going to be okay.’ I think that he might have an idea about it because he’s been through it before.”

12:05 am: The one thing the Lakers feared most was Andrew Bynum suffering another knee injury.

It happened. He has suffered a hyperextended right knee according to the team — the one he had surgically repaired after last season, the one he wears a heavy brace on. The severity is not known, but he is not returning to the Spurs game, he will not play Wednesday in Sacramento.

He will have an MRI on Wednesday, when we will learn the severity of the injury. Hyperextensions sometimes are not as serious as other knee injuries, but anything to Bynum’s injured knee will be taken seriously. It is a risk to the team and its chances.

The injury happened as Bynum was running up the court on defense in the second quarter, stepped on the foot of DeJuan Blair and his leg seemed to slide out from under him. He fell in the key and just sat there while the play went on around him. He then sat there until play stopped and Pau Gasol came in for him. Bynum got up and walked off under his own power but went straight to the locker room.

Bynum is the key to the Lakers three-peat chances — he is the anchor of the defense that sparked their 17-of-18 run. Last season he was able to drag an injured leg suffered in the first round through the rest of the playoffs and help the team to a title.

However, this year Lakers staff was quietly optimistic that this was the best team they had in the playoffs in this championship window because they finally had a healthy Bynum. Now….

Report: Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo staying in NBA draft

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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When De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk declared for the NBA draft, they jumped in with both feet, hiring agents.

A third Kentucky freshman, Bam Adebayo, took a more cautious approach – until now.

Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports:

Adebayo is a borderline first-round pick.

He’s a ferocious dunker. All his best skills – motor, explosiveness, physicality – come together to produce slams.

But Adebayo is an underwhelming shot-blocker and rebounder, and those same tools should translate. That speaks’ to his focus.

He has a center’s game. But at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-1.5 wingspan, does he have a center’s size? Adebayo can’t step away from the basket or handle the ball, so if he can’t bang with NBA centers, he’s in trouble.

NBA: James Harden should have been called for offensive foul late in Rockets’ Game 4 win over Thunder

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The Rockets were trying to protect a two-point lead as they inbounded with 7.8 seconds left in Game 4 against the Thunder on Sunday, and James Harden wanted the ball. So, the Houston star pushed off Alex Abrines.

The play still turned chaotic – Russell Westbrook tipping the inbound pass and Eric Gordon recovering the loose ball – but it never should have gotten that far. Harden should have been called for an offensive foul, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Harden (HOU) pushes off Abrines (OKC) to create space during the inbound.

A correct call would have given Oklahoma City the ball down two with 7.8 seconds left and a real chance to tie or take the lead.

Instead, the Thunder had to intentionally foul Gordon, who hit two free throws to effectively ice a 113-109 Rockets win. Houston now leads the first-round series, 3-1.

NBA: LeBron James got away with travelling before go-ahead 3-pointer in Cavaliers’ Game 4 win over Pacers

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The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers by just 16 points in their first-round series – tied for the narrowest margin ever in a four-game sweep. (The Warriors also outscored the Washington Bullets while sweeping the 1975 Finals.)

So, each Cleveland-Indiana game was close, including Sunday’s Game 4, which the Cavs won 106-102.

LeBron James hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left to put the Cavaliers up 103-102, and they added a few free throws after intentional fouls to produce the final margin. But LeBron travelled with 1:14 left while making his move to get that 3-pointer, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

James (CLE) moves his pivot foot at the start of his dribble.

A correct call would’ve ended Cleveland’s possession and given Indiana the ball with a two-point lead. Instead, the Pacers had only one possession before they had to begin intentionally fouling.

Would Indiana have won if the travel were called? Probably, though the odds would have been only slightly better than a coin flip.

Would the Pacers have won the series if the travel were called? Probably not. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit, and even a Game 4 win was far from guaranteed with a travel call. But they might have at least felt better about not getting swept.

Raptors’ Norman Powell had a couple monster dunks Monday (VIDEO)

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“Give all praise to Norman Powell with his energy, his athleticism, his passion, just everything he brought to us this series.”

That was Kyle Lowry talking about what his Raptor Norman Powell, who put up a career playoff best 25 points in the Raptors’ Game 5 win. Powell played good defense on Khris Middleton and drained some deep threes to help Toronto pull away in this one. Lowry was so impressed after the game at a press conference he told the media to ask Powell questions, not him.

Oh, and Powell threw down some huge dunks, too. Just check out the video.