Los Angeles Lakers Andrew Bynum holds his knee after falling during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in Los Angeles

Lakers’ Bynum suffers bone bruise, is ready to go for playoffs

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Lakers fans have never been so happy to hear the words “bone bruise” before.

An MRI on Lakers center Andrew Bynum’s right knee — the one surgically repaired last summer and tweaked last night in a game against the Spurs — shows only a bone bruise, according to a release by the team.

He will be ready to play when the Lakers open the playoffs this weekend. (That game will almost certainly be at 3:30 Eastern Sunday on ABC, although the opponent is still up in the air, it will be either New Orleans or Memphis.)

Bynum injured his knee running back up the court on defense Tuesday night, trying to stick with the Spurs DeJuan Blair and in doing so stepped on Blair’s foot. Bynum’s leg slid out from under him at an awkward angle. After the game both Blair and Lakers guard Shannon Brown (who was close to the play) called the fall “scary” because it looked so bad.

Bynum sat on the floor for a minute then when he did get up went straight to the locker room not to return to the game. However, he walked out of the arena last night with almost no limp and saying that while the injury hurt at first it had gotten considerably better.

All of which is good news for the Lakers — Bynum and his being an anchor on defense is key to the team’s three-peat chances.

The Lakers also announced that an MRI on Matt Barnes knee showed no new damage and he is expected to play this weekend as well.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.