Ray Allen, Jeff Teague, Tracy McGrady

Ray Allen scratched from Celtics/76ers due to ankle sprain


Friday is the biggest game of the regular season for the Celtics — well, maybe not their fans, they want to beat the Lakers more than anything — if they beat the 76ers they take over first place in the Atlantic Division. Which means a jump from the seven seed (Miami in the first round of the playoffs) to the four seed (hello Indiana).

But they will be doing it without Ray Allen, who is a surprise scratch, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Six games ago Allen tweaked his ankle when he slipped on a wet spot on the floor against the Clippers. He has played through it up to this point, but the Celtics are on the second night of a back-to-back against the Sixers and while Doc Rivers wants to win this game he has to think long term.  Which is the prudent thing to do.

Mickael Pietrus will get the start in his absence.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.