Dion Waiters says ankle injury still painful, will try to be back for playoffs (if Heat make it)

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Miami was the hottest team in the NBA and looked destined to climb back from an 11-30 start to make the playoffs. The surprising resurgence of Dion Waiters as a guy who can get buckets was a big part of that.

Then Waiters sprained his left ankle a few weeks back. The Heat have gone 5-6 without him and now are in a fight for the final playoff spot, a battle that because of a difficult schedule — they play the Cavaliers Monday and the Wizards Wednesday — they may well lose.

Dion Waiters wants to be back, but he’s not moving well enough yet. He said if the Heat make the playoffs he’ll play, but that remains a question mark on a couple of fronts. Here are Waiters words, via Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

This does not sound like a guy on the verge of coming back. Even if the Heat made the playoffs does he sound ready to play by this weekend?

The Heat need help just to make the playoffs, not only are they going to need to upset good teams they need Pacers or Bulls losses. Fivethirtyeight.com said the Heat have a 38 percent chance of making the playoffs, going into the night.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.