The Lakers, on the other hand, are still jostling for position and had to play their regulars, proving costly as Bynum went down with a hyperextended right knee in the second quarter. Bynum will have an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury. Los Angeles is tied with Dallas for second place in the West and can secure the spot with a win over Sacramento in Wednesday's regular season finale.
Andrew Bynum awkwardly sprawled onto the court, staying down for an uncomfortably long moment. The 7-foot center then walked cautiously to the locker room with more than one teammate staring at his perpetually problematic knees.
If the Spurs and Bulls finish with the same record, every tiebreaker is even, so a random drawing would determine who got homecourt advantage in the NBA finals – a nonexistent concern to Popovich, a four-time NBA champion.
The Lakers’ hopes for a third straight NBA title might have taken a significant blow when Bynum fell to the court after stepping on DeJuan Blair’s foot during the second period. The shot-blocking 7-footer will have an MRI on Wednesday while the Lakers wrap up the regular season at Sacramento.
Bynum said after the game he expected he would be OK and available for the start of the playoffs, which Lakers coach Phil Jackson did say was reason for optimism. But Jackson said there is a chance Bynum could have a bone bruise that costs him “a couple games,” even if there is no ligament or cartilage damage found.