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Bynum is iffy for Game 5

Glen Davis, left, shoots against a hobbled Andrew Bynum during Game 4. Davis scored most of his 18 with Bynum on the bench.

Associated Press

Glen Davis, left, shoots against a hobbled Andrew Bynum during Game 4. Davis scored most of his 18 with Bynum on the bench.

BOSTON — Lakers coach Phil Jackson does not have "any expectations" for injured center Andrew Bynum in the NBA Finals. But there is one thing Jackson is counting on.

"We're going to try and establish the fact that we're going back to L.A. with a 3-2 lead," he said Friday. "We believe we can do it. We felt we let one get away (Thursday) night."

More like the rougher and tougher Celtics took it.

With Bynum limited to 12 minutes and on the bench for most of the second half because of a sore right knee, Boston pounded Los Angeles inside in a 96-89 victory that evened the best-of-seven Finals at two games each.

The Celtics had a 54-34 advantage in points in the paint with Glen Davis and Boston's big men finding room in the areas Bynum often controls.

"They miss him," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of the 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum. "He has great size and length. We attacked the paint (Thursday), and Andrew wasn't there. When he's not on the floor, there's a big difference."

Neither team practiced Friday, the first of two days off before Game 5 on Sunday night.

Jackson hadn't spoken to Bynum, who planned to see a doctor and get treatment. He has a torn meniscus and recently had fluid drained from the knee, but the swelling has returned. He said Thursday that having it drained again could be an option.

He was optimistic he can play Sunday, and Jackson will give him the chance if he's "available and able." However, Bynum won't be used if it would hurt himself or the Lakers.

"If he can't get back in defense — and that's one of the things they're trying to attack … when Andrew is out there is try and run — then obviously he's going to hurt the team," Jackson said.

The Lakers might not have better options. Sixth man Lamar Odom gets the bulk of the minutes in Bynum's absence. But he has been largely ineffective in the series. And while 6-10, he is about 55 pounds lighter than Bynum and more easily shoved around.

Shrek and Donkey: Celtics supersub Glen "Big Baby" Davis now not only has a catchy nickname. He has a sidekick on, and off, the bench.

"We're like Shrek and Donkey," said backup guard Nate Robinson (5 feet 9, 180 pounds). "You can't separate us."

Davis (6-9, 289) came off the bench Thursday to score 18 in 23 minutes, and Robinson had 12 in 17. Davis scored nine in the fourth quarter, when the reserves pulled away from the Lakers and forced Celtics coach Doc Rivers to leave the starters on the sideline.

"We're playing, but (the) timeout goes by, he doesn't sub. I was like, 'Man, he's letting us roll,' " Davis said at the postgame news conference. "I want to give Doc a hug, man. I love Doc."

"Tell him 'Thank you,' " Robinson piped in.

"I sure appreciate it," Davis added.

At one point in the final quarter, Davis made it a three-possession game — Boston's biggest lead to that point — when he dove to the floor to gather a loose ball, then followed the play to the other end and scored on a putback, drawing a foul. He stomped away in exultation, letting loose a primal scream and a bit of drool while Robinson jumped on his back.

"When you're in the moment, you're in the moment," Davis said. "If I slobber, snot, spit, please excuse me. Kids, don't do that. Have manners and things like that."

Ratings: Thursday drew the highest preliminary rating for a Finals Game 4 since 2004. The 11.6 was up 6 percent from the 10.9 for last year's Magic-Lakers Game 4 and the best since 14.5 for Game 4 of the Pistons-Lakers series six years ago. Ratings measure the percentage of all homes with TVs tuned into a program. Overnight ratings represent the country's largest markets.

Hawks coach: Atlanta will name Larry Drew as coach, the Associated Press reported. An announcement is expected next week. Drew played point guard in the NBA for 10 seasons and previously was the top assistant under Mike Woodson, fired last month.

fast facts

Lakers 2, Celtics 2

(All games on Ch. 28)

Game 1: Lakers 102,

Celtics 89

Game 2: Celtics 103,

Lakers 94

Game 3: Lakers 91,

Celtics 84

Game 4: Celtics 96,

Lakers 89

Sunday: at Boston, 8

Tuesday: at Los Angeles, 9

June 17: at Los Angeles, 9 *

* if necessary

Bynum is iffy for Game 5 06/11/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 12, 2010 12:26am]
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