The Lakers, now without LeBron James, look to continue their winning streak against the Grizzlies

It seemed that things were finally starting to move in a positive direction for Los Angeles Lakers.

After some smart moves at the trade deadline, the Lakers have won three straight and are climbing up the crowded Western Conference. The team’s last win was terrible. They overcame a 27-point deficit and won Dallas Mavericks 111-108 on the road.

But it came at a price.

LeBron James, now the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, suffered a foot injury in the win. James finished the game in Dallas despite a visible limp, but has already been ruled out for Tuesday night’s game at Memphis Grizzlies. And according to multiple reports, James could be sidelined for weeks.

The Lakers were already without starter D’Angelo Russell, who was dealing with a sprained ankle. Russell is listed as questionable for Tuesday night’s game at Memphis.

With those two probably aside, The Lakers are underdogs with 9.5 points against the Grizzlies, the second-place team in the Western Conference. The game against Memphis is the first back-to-back for the Lakers, who will be in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

Can the Lakers rally without James and turn Memphis around? The Lakers are 18-26 straight up as an underdog this season, including 11-18 as an underdog on the road. The team’s numbers are slightly better (but not great) against the spread — 20-23-1 ATS as an underdog.

The Lakers are 29-32 on the year, just half a game out of the No. 10 spot. At the same time, the Western standings are so tight that the Lakers are only 3.5 games behind Phoenix Sunswho are currently ranked 4th.

There is still plenty of room to move up in the standings, but time is running out for the Lakers with only 21 games remaining in the regular season.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) dribbles during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

What else is going on in the NBA?

It’s a pretty busy night in the NBA with a total of 10 games on the schedule.

The Milwaukee Buckswho now owns the league’s best record thanks to Boston Celtics loss for New York Knicks on Monday night, are on the road against Brooklyn Nets. The Bucks are on a 14-game winning streak and they are favored with 6.5 points in this match.

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard coming off a whopping 71 points in a win over Houston Rockets on Sunday. What can he do for an encore? The Blazers are on the road Tuesday night and 4.5 point losses Golden State Warriors

On another place, Sacramento Kings are favorites on the road with 2.5 points compared to Oklahoma City ThunderThe Dallas Mavericks have an 8.5 point home advantage vs Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers favor 6.5 at home vs Minnesota Timberwolves.

A great night of college basketball

We’re only a few hours away from the glorious month of March, and that means college basketball is heating up.

No. 6 Marquette can clinch the outright Big East title Tuesday night with a win over Butler. The Golden Eagles are favorites with 9.5 points.

In the ACC, suddenly struggling Virginia hosts NCAA Tournament seed Clemson. UVA, now No. 13 in the AP poll, is favored by 6.5 points at home. Additionally, Duke is a 6.5-point favorite over NC State, which is coming off a loss to Clemson and looking to improve its NCAA Tournament berth with a quality road win.

In the Big Ten, two teams coming off big wins will meet in Bloomington as No. 15 Indiana hosts Iowa. IU knocked off rival Purdue on the road over the weekend, while Iowa overcame a 13-point deficit in the closing minutes to shock Michigan State. in this, Indiana is favored by 5.5 points.Among the Big 12, Texas Tech has a big opportunity. The Red Raiders were coming off a tough loss at home to TCU on Saturday and most prognosticators have them out of the NCAA Tournament field. But TTU can get a significant boost if it can upset No. 3 Kansas on Tuesday night. The Red Raiders are 9.5-point underdogs in Lawrence.

There is also a large one in the Mountain West. No. 18 San Diego State already clinched the league regular season title thanks to a thrilling win over New Mexico over the weekend, but now must hit the road against a Boise State team fighting for its NCAA Tournament life. The Broncos are favored by 2.5 points at home.

Marquette's Tyler Kolek (11) reacts with Oso Ighodaro (13) during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against DePaul, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Milwaukee.  (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Marquette’s Tyler Kolek (11) reacts with Os Ighodaro (13) during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against DePaul, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Don’t forget the conference tournaments

While most of the major conference tournaments are still a week away, some of the lower and mid-major conference tournaments will begin on Tuesday.

In fact, the first round of the Atlantic Sun began Monday night, with a buzzer beater in Bellarmine’s win over North Florida.

In addition to ASUN second-round action, Tuesday will feature the Horizon League, Patriot League and Sun Belt tournaments.

There are four games in the Atlantic Sun, three games in the Horizon, two games in the Patriot and two more in the Sun Belt.

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