The Lakers have the playoffs on the mind and are only two games back of the Utah Jazz, which is currently the eighth-place team in the Western Conference playoff race. But the Thunder has the motivation of the top seed being up for grabs following the San Antonio Spurs' loss of point guard Tony Parker to an ankle injury.
Oklahoma City is clicking and coming off a physical win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
The Lakers and Thunder go at it at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT, but they'll be preceded in the national spotlight by the Boston Celtics' visit to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics are a game and a half behind the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference's sixth spot, while the 76ers have lost eight of their last nine games.
Also on the Tuesday night schedule, the Sacramento Kings -- winners in two of their last three games -- host the red-hot Denver Nuggets, who sit quietly and sturdily at fifth place in the Western Conference.
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings
Time: 10 p.m. ET
TV: Altitude Sports