Andrew Bynum dunking, still plans return soon after All-Star break

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The dynamic around Andrew Bynum’s return to the 76ers has changed. Before it was something to watch as Philly brass thought about what kind of contract to offer him this summer.

But with the injury to Rajon Rondo and the Sixers just 2.5 games back heading into Monday night, a playoff spot seems possible again. Bynum’s return could be a big part of that.

So how’s it going? He’s dunking, he told CSNPhilly.com.

“I still haven’t done slides yet, but I dunked yesterday. That’s good. I can still do that,” Bynum said.

Before you say “so what, a 7’1” guy with long arms can dunk” let me remind you that when he lands it’s 300 pounds on his surgically repaired knee. It’s not nothing.

As for the timeline, he said his return remains likely for right after the All-Star break.

“I’m a little ahead, I think,” Bynum said. “Before I started getting a little better I had a lot of pain. The pain is subsiding a bit [after workouts].”

When he comes back it will not be 30 minutes a night at full speed at first, but if he can help lift a struggling offense and shore up the defense a little, suddenly Philly’s outlook is a whole lot different.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

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.)