Summary: Carlos Alcaraz defeats Danil Medvedev in the finals of the Indian Wells tournament (Sport1)
Three weeks have passed since LeBron James injured a tendon in his right leg, and exactly three weeks remain in the regular season.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Darwin Hamm provided a very encouraging update regarding LeBron's condition and possible return date.
"We expect him to be back at some point this season," Hamm said before the Lakers beat Orlando 105-111 tonight.
The 38-year-old James injured his leg in the Lakers' win over Dallas on February 26.
He is expected to have his foot re-evaluated by the Lakers medical staff later this week, possibly as early as Thursday, to check the progress of his rehabilitation program.
Los Angeles went 5:6 without LeBron.
With a 37:35 record, the team is ninth in the Western Conference with 10 games remaining in the regular season.
Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo: GettyImages, Kevork Djansezian)
Austin Reaves after starring in the victory of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo: GettyImages, Allen Berezovsky)
"I think Belron, when he's out there, found out that we have a lot of different weapons, and very talented players on both sides of the court that can help us achieve the goal we're trying to achieve," Hamm said.
"And when he comes back, he will only add to it."
Without LeBron, who is averaging 29.5 points per game, Los Angeles has had five different players in the last ten games score 24 or more points: Anthony Davis, D'Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Dennis Schrader and Malik Beasley.
James took off the orthotic walking boot he initially wore to stabilize his foot and took part in his first on-court activity -- standing free throws -- on Wednesday in New Orleans.
Lakers guard Dennis Schroeder said James has stepped up his workouts in anticipation of his return.
"He works three times a day on his body to come back," Schroeder said on the weekend, "I think we have a real opportunity here with this team."
In addition, the Lakers are considering the possibility of adding one of the two free centers, Tristan Thompson or Tony Bradley, to the team.
The veteran Thompson, as you remember, won the championship with LeBron with Cleveland in 2016.
But if there is someone who makes all of this relevant right now, it is Austin Reaves, who saved the Lakers tonight from an embarrassment against Orlando, when the team knows very well that a loss would not only complicate them in the playoff battles, but also hurt the team very much mentally if they were to surrender at home to an opponent like Orlando.
Reaves scored 35 points, including the last 10 for the Lakers.
"Every time I step on the court, I play with the same determination and give everything on the court, because that's how I feel basketball should be played," said Reeves at the end, a player who was not selected in the draft and signed a non-binding contract with the club, and suddenly became a hero.
Tonight he heard the crowd calling his name, and LeBron also hugged him after the show.
Reeves, who heard the crowd chanting MVP for him, said: "To hear those chants, and obviously I'm not MVP-level, these guys are really good - but to hear it is special, and it means a lot to me."
Regarding the compliments from LeBron, who tweeted in his honor, Reeves said: "Talking about the greatest player of all time, I don't know what to say. After he received me like that, from my first day here, I felt good chemistry, and not only from him, but from everyone."
Los Angeles Lakers