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The No. 1 seed in the NBA playoffs, the Denver Nuggets look worthy of a title after taking some great shots from the Los Angeles Lakers and still earning a 2-0 lead at home. Now the Nuggets must get the job done on the road where they lost Games 3 and 4 against Phoenix in the semifinals before rebounding to win the series in Game 6. We know the Lakers will be playing in full desperation mode as no team has ever come back from 3-0 in the NBA playoffs.
Los Angeles Lakers -5.5
Anthony Davis Over 2.5 Blocks
These odds from William Hill were correct at the time of writing.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets – Game Predictions
- 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets – Game Predictions
- 2 Lakers vs Nuggets Preview – Home Court Matters
- 3 Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game Details
The Lakers are a 5.5-point home favorite with a total of 222 points. The Lakers covered the spread by a single point in each of the first two games as a road underdog, but now they are favored to win with the season essentially on the line.
Prediction 1: Los Angeles Lakers to Cover the Spread (-5.5)
The Lakers are 6-0 at home this postseason, and all but one win was by at least 6 points. Look for LeBron James to rebound after a bad game where he failed to finish at the rim a handful of times. Look for Anthony Davis to do much better than 4-for-15 shooting. Rui Hachimura and Anthony Reaves have been playing great for LA. Jamal Murray could cool down on the road for Denver after his explosive fourth quarter (23 points) in Game 2 saved the day. The Lakers have contained Jokic in the fourth quarter of both games. They should be able to play better transition defense at home. Let’s trust the Lakers to find their footing and deliver a big win in this series to make sure it lasts long.
Prediction 2: Anthony Davis Over 2.5 Blocks
In Game 1, Davis was only credited with 2 blocks despite having twice as many plays called blocks live and a fourth-quarter play acknowledged as a block by Nikola Jokic. In Game 2, he was credited with 4 blocks, continuing his dominant postseason where he has gone over 2.5 blocks in 9-of-14 games. Davis has also gone over 2.5 blocks in 6-of-8 playoff wins, so if the Lakers are going to come through, he must be dominant on the defensive end.
Lakers vs Nuggets Preview – Home Court Matters
The spread switching entirely just because of the venue switch is interesting, but the numbers do not lie. This postseason, the Lakers are 6-0 at home with +17.7 Net Rating compared to 2-6 on the road with -6.9 Net Rating.
Los Angeles Lakers News, Injuries, and Starting Lineups
The Lakers will likely continue with starting Jarred Vanderbilt and bringing Dennis Schroder and Rui Hachimura off the bench. D’Angelo Russell has been a weak link for the Lakers, and they are going to have to be careful with how they manage him. Russell is only shooting 36.8% from the field and 12.5% from 3 in the series with 9.0 points and 4.0 assists per game. This may be where the Lakers need to rely on the hotter hands with Hachimura, Schroder, and Lonnie Walker.
Los Angeles Lakers Injury Report:
- Mo Bamba (ankle) is out for Game 3
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup:
D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Jarred Vanderbilt, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.
Denver Nuggets News, Injuries, and Starting Lineups
The Nuggets are healthy and feeling very confident with a 2-0 lead, but their role players must prove they can get it done on the road too in this series. Even Jokic averages 2.5 fewer rebounds and 2.6 fewer assists per game on the road than he does at home this season. All of Denver’s losses this postseason have been on the road.
Denver Nuggets Injury Report:
- No injuries to report ahead of Game 3
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup:
Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Jokic.
Lakers vs Nuggets Head to Head Record In 2023
The Nuggets are 4-2 against the Lakers this season, but the home team is 6-0 so far. The two playoff games have been closer than any of the regular-season meetings.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game Details
- Date & Time: Saturday, May 20, 2023, 08:30 p.m. ET
- Venue: crytpo.com Arena – Los Angeles, California
- Where to watch match in UK: Sky Sports (TV), fuboTV, or other live stream
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