Tuesday features several important games in the NBA as teams fight for their final playoff positions as the season comes to a close. Here’s a look at a few key games on the schedule tonight.
Bucks Hope To Avoid Three Straight Road Losses
Milwaukee travels to Philadelphia on Tuesday night to face the Sixers in a critical Eastern Conference battle. The teams are both coming off losses in their most recent games and are now tied for third place, a half-game behind the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. However, either of these teams could move to the top of the standings with a win tonight.
The Bucks are healthier than they’ve been in a long time and are getting set to defend their NBA title. Jrue Holiday has recently returned to the lineup, and Brook Lopez is back in the starting five after his return from back surgery. However, Philadelphia is just 6-4 in their last ten games and is still adjusting to their new roster, including James Harden. In Sunday’s loss at Phoenix, he shot just 2-11 from the field and finished with 14 points.
The Sixers will get a close win at home against the Bucks, who have struggled recently on the road.
Lakers Chances Are Slim
The Lakers travel to face the Mavericks on Tuesday night in Dallas. Los Angeles is currently in the last position for the postseason play-in tournament in the Western Conference, but their chances of staying there are not very good.
Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis are doubtful for the game tonight. Davis is just now becoming a full participant in practice since his foot injury back in February, and James sprained his ankle in the loss to New Orleans on Sunday.
Dallas is coming off a big win at home against the Utah Jazz and now has sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference standings and a possible home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs if they can hold that position.
The Mavericks have split the series against the Lakers so far this season. They still trail Memphis by 6.5 games in the Southwest Division standings.
Dallas will get their fourth win in a row at home against the ailing Lakers.
Jazz Can’t Afford Another Loss vs. Clippers
The Utah Jazz have had a tough time on their current six-game road trip, losing their fifth straight game overall against Dallas on Sunday. The Clippers haven’t fared much better recently as they have lost five consecutive games and eight of their last ten after a five-game winning streak. In addition, Los Angeles has had three days of needed rest since their blowout loss to the Sixers on Friday night.
The good news for the Clippers is that they are in a position to make it to the postseason play-in tournament, as long as they don’t have a total collapse in these last seven games of the regular season as they are four games ahead of the Pelicans in the standings.
On the other hand, Utah is at risk of falling out of first place in the Northwest Division standings, and have just a half-game lead over the Denver Nuggets, who have taken advantage of Utah’s recent losing streak to close the gap.
The Clippers will avoid a season sweep by Utah and win a close game on their home floor.