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Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets – Breakdown and Prediction

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA

Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets: Western Conference Playoffs – First round

After surviving the Play-In tournament, the Los Angeles Lakers are all set to face the defending champions Denver Nuggets tonight at Ball Arena in the first game of the opening playoff round.

The Lakers look ready to go

The Los Angeles Lakers finished the regular season in seventh place in the Western Conference with a 47-35 record. They made it to the playoffs after defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 110-106 on the road. The Lakers are second in the league, shooting 49.8% from the field, and sixth, scoring 118 points per game. LeBron James leads the team, averaging 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, and 7.3 rebounds per game, followed by Anthony Davis with 24.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game.

Are the Nuggets still the best team in the league?

The Denver Nuggets finished second in the Western Conference with a 57-25 record. They won four of the last five games and are coming off a 126-111 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nuggets are fourth in the league, shooting 49.6% from the field, and tenth, shooting 37.4% from three-point territory. Nikola Jokic is the front-runner for the MVP award, averaging 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 9 assists per game for the season.

Betting Trends

The Nuggets have covered the spread in the last five games against the Lakers. Denver is 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall, 4-2 SU in their last six games as favorites and 4-8 ATS in the last 12 games against teams from the Western Conference. The Lakers are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 games played on Saturday.

Prediction and Conclusion

These two teams played in the Western Conference finals last season, when the Nuggets swept the Lakers on the way to their first-ever NBA championship. They continued their dominance over the Lakers, winning all three games in the 2023–24 regular season. The Nuggets were targeting the top seed in the West but fell just short, finishing second with the same record as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Just like last season, the Lakers went through the play-in tournament to reach the playoffs, but it seems like they hit the wall right away. The Nuggets are picking up the pace when playoff time comes, and they will show that tonight by covering the -7-point spread against the Lakers.

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