From Comcast SportsNetEL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Pau Gasol was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot Wednesday, indefinitely sidelining the 7-foot Spaniard at a key point in the Los Angeles Lakers' belated rally to get in playoff position.Gasol felt a pop in his foot Tuesday night late in the Lakers' 92-83 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. An MRI in Boston revealed the injury.The Lakers (23-26) are losing Gasol right when their mostly miserable season is starting to improve with six wins in seven games, including three straight on their longest road trip of the season. Los Angeles also played the last three games without All-Star center Dwight Howard, who has a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and top backup big man Jordan Hill is out for the season with an injured hip."I'm hoping to recover asap so I can be back with the team and keep fighting until the end of the season," Gasol tweeted.Gasol will fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to be examined by team physician Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Kenneth Jung. The Lakers announced they will give a timeline for Gasol's return after the examination, but the injury conceivably could keep Gasol out for several weeks or more if he undergoes surgery to repair the damage.Gasol has been bothered by tendinitis in both knees and fasciitis for at least two months, hindering his progress since shortly after new coach Mike D'Antoni took over. The four-time All-Star big man also missed five games in January with a concussion, and Gasol largely has been coming off the bench for the Lakers since then.Gasol is averaging a career-low 13.4 points per game and 8.0 rebounds while playing in just 36 of the Lakers' 49 games.The Lakers finish their seven-game road trip with three games in four days, starting Thursday in Boston and concluding Sunday in Miami. Rookie center Robert Sacre is available to D'Antoni, and Howard isn't certain when he'll return from an injury that's troublesome, but likely manageable.Salary cap-strapped Los Angeles could sign a replacement for Gasol after getting a disabled player's exception last week for Hill, who had season-ending hip surgery. But the pool of available free-agent big men is awfully thin, including Lakers retreads such as Troy Murphy and Brian Cook.
BOSTON – The New York Knicks have been in a massive funk of late, something the Boston Celtics had to know which, not surprisingly, would result in them playing with a heightened level of desperation.
That desperation left the Celtics a bit exasperated at the half which ended with a 10-2 run by New York that put them ahead 63-54 at the half.
After falling behind by as many as nine points in the second quarter, the Celtics rallied to within a single point (53-52) following a basket by Isaiah Thomas.
The second quarter was all-New York afterwards.
It was just a one-possession game (Boston led 34-31) for the Celtics going into the second quarter, which was exactly where Boston didn’t want to be against a Knicks team whose bench ranks among the NBA’s highest-scoring second units recently. In their last three games, the Knicks’ bench has averaged 43.0 points per game which according to hoopsstats.com, ranks sixth in the NBA during that span.
At the half, they had 33 points compared to just 12 for Boston’s backups.
Boston fell behind early 9-5, but the Celtics rallied following a time-out with a 15-4 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Isaiah Thomas.
The Celtics’ lead peaked at nine points on separate occasions in the first, but the Knicks closed out the first with a 12-6 spurt that cut Boston’s lead to 34-31 at the end of the first.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half.
The former league MVP looked like his old self tonight instead of just old. He led the Knicks with 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
The Knicks had great success inside the paint against all the Celtics minus Thomas who did much of his dirty work offensively on drives to the basket. At the half he had 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting.
Boston had problems rebounding the ball, and Hernangomez was the main reason why. At the half he had 10 points and six rebounds, three of which were offensive boards.
Dealing with Carmelo Anthony is enough to keep Crowder busy tonight. But he’s doing that at a high level in addition to providing a nice punch offensively with 14 points.
You may not know his name, but his game was pretty impressive in the first half. At the half, he had nine points.
We’ve seen him air-ball a 3-pointer, miss a lay-up and strguggle to get any shots to go down tonight. At the half, he had three points while missing nine of his 10 shot attempts.
BOSTON – Both New York and Boston will take to the floor tonight minus a starter courtesy of a sore Achilles injury.
For Celtics guard Avery Bradley, tonight will be the fifth time in the last six games that his right Achilles injury will keep him sidelined.
Meanwhile, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis will miss his fourth straight game with a sore left Achilles injury.
The 7-foot-3 Porzingis averages 19.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
Porzingis’ absence tonight was established well before tip-off.
“I’d say I’m 90 percent ready; still not there yet,” Porzingis told reporters prior to the game. “But I’m getting closer … hopefully the next game or after the next game.”
As far as Bradley is concerned, he was a last-minute matter.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was asked about his roster earlier tonight, and indicated Tyler Zeller (sinus) and James Young (ankle) would be on the inactive list tonight with injuries.
Without Bradley, the Celtics are expected to start Marcus Smart who has filled in as the team’s starter previously when the 6-foot-2 Bradley was unavailable.
Bradley is the Celtics' second-leading scorer with 17.7 points per game this season, along with a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists.