LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a jump hooks in front of Steve Novak #23, Tiago Splitter #22 and Richard Jefferson #24 of the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on April 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

NBA Scores And More: Lakers End Skid But Watch Andrew Bynum Go Down; Blazers, Bulls Win

The Lakers ended their five-game skid with a win over the Spurs' reserve corps, but lost Andrew Bynum to a knee injury. In other action, the Grizzlies tanked against the Blazers and the Bulls beat up the Knicks.

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Spurs Vs. Lakers: Andrew Bynum Injury Ruins End Of L.A.'s Losing Streak

The Los Angeles Lakers managed to end their five-game losing streak by beating the San Antonio Spurs' B-team 102-93 on Tuesday, setting up a wild final day of action. But there was a casualty in the action: Lakers center Andrew Bynum hyperextended his knee in the first half, and will have an MRI on Wednesday. He will not play in Sacramento Wednesday night, and could miss a game or more of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. That sound you heard was Lakers Nation's collective gulp, followed by the collective curse words.

The game was actually tied at halftime as the Lakers looked as disinterested as the Spurs' benched starters did. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Antonio McDyess all sat; as a result, Chris Quinn, Steve Novak, Danny Green and James Anderson all played more than 20 minutes. L.A., meanwhile, needed Kobe Bryant to play 37 minutes, and because of Bynum's injury, Pau Gasol played 41 and Lamar Odom 36. Five-game losing streaks in April make rest impossible, you see.

L.A. needs to beat the Sacramento Kings in what could be that franchise's final game in California's capital in order to finish No. 2 in the West. Welcome back to the starting five, Lamar.


Grizzlies Vs. Blazers: Portland Clinches No. 6 Seed As Memphis Strategically Tanks

The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday to clinch the No. 6 seed in the West bracket of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The Grizzlies, however, sat their two most important starters (Zach Randolph and Tony Allen) in a strategic move to avoid the L.A. Lakers in the first round. The Blazers had no such fears about the two-time defending champs.

After the game, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins maintained that Allen, at least, was actually injured and couldn't go, but he can argue the point until he's blue in the face and not a soul will believe it. Portland played along, letting Memphis hold a lead into the third quarter before taking over down the stretch. Sam Young played more minutes than any other Grizzly (35), and O.J. Mayo earned 33 minutes despite a bad 5-13 shooting night.

Randolph won't play Wednesday against the Clippers; with a Grizzlies' loss or Hornets' win, Memphis would land in the No. 8 spot, thereby avoiding the Lakers but landing the Spurs. Some consolation prize! This is one small negative of races for playoff spots already being sewn up with the seeding left to be decided; coaches outsmart themselves and kill what would otherwise be contested, fun games.


Bulls Vs. Knicks: Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer Handle Unmotivated New York

The Chicago Bulls, still pushing for the No. 1 seed overall in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, slammed the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, winning 103-90. Derrick Rose scored 26 points on 10-19 shooting despite a cold, and Carlos Boozer pulled down 22 rebounds. Amar'e Stoudemire didn't play for the Knicks, and Carmelo Anthony registered just 32 minutes as New York had nothing but momentum to play for.

Rose somehow played 38; the Bulls were leading by nine when the presumptive MVP re-entered the game in the fourth. That's how serious the top seed overall is for Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls, and it shows that the club thinks the NBA Finals are a real possibility. Which, of course, they are.

For the Knicks, that first-round matchup with the Celtics awaits. Boston is resting its stars, too; expect Carmelo Anthony to take a night off on Wednesday, joining Stoudemire in a suit. When the weekend hits, though, the Knicks will be gunning to regain the hype that set up that magnificent bubble burst last month. Can't wait.

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