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Lakers Ready to Return to ATS Glory vs Nuggets

Lakers vs Nuggets September 22, 2020 Game 3 Anthony Davis

The Denver Nuggets have been down by two wins twice before in the NBA playoffs – but this latest deficit might be the most painful of all as they look to get back into the Western Conference final against the Los Angeles Lakers in Tuesday’s Game 3. The Nuggets saw a spirited Game 2 rally fall short when Anthony Davis hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer in a 105-103 Lakers win.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets
  • Date/Time: September 22, 9 p.m. ET
  • Arena: AdventHealth Arena
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -6.5 | O/U 214 (Line History)
  • Lakers vs Nuggets Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lakers have held steady since opening as 6.5-point favorites – the lowest spread of the series so far – while the total has remained unchanged at 214.

Los Angeles News & Notes

An offense that had rolled to 126 points in Game 1 and 60 more in the first half of Game 2 suddenly stalled in the second half of Sunday’s game – and that’s worth monitoring, with the Nuggets having shown an ability to play shutdown defense in the past. Davis and LeBron James combined for 57 points in the victory but needed a combined 53 shots to get there.

If the Lakers want to make things easier on themselves in Game 3, they could start by curbing their fouls. They were whistled for 30 on Sunday night, while the Nuggets finished with just 22 fouls. That resulted in a 33-19 disparity in free throws in favor of a Denver team that had expressed frustration that the Lakers were given a whopping 24 shots from the charity stripe in the second quarter of Game 1.

Denver News & Notes

It’s hard to imagine the Nuggets having a better opportunity to even the series than they had in Game 2, when they shot better than 47 percent, enjoyed a massive free-throw advantage and forced 24 Lakers turnovers. They were done in by an 8-for-24 success rate from three-point range and 21 turnovers; Jamal Murray went 2-for-9 from deep while losing the ball five times.

Secondary scoring will be critical for the Nuggets to climb back into the series. Murray, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. poured in 70 of the team’s 103 points in that Game 2 defeat, with no other Denver player attempting more than six shots.

Jokic and Murray have combined to average an incredible 48.6 percent of the Nuggets’ total scoring so far in the postseason.

Betting Pick: Lakers -6.5

Things went the Nuggets’ way in Game 2 and they still couldn’t pull out the victory. The Lakers have rebounded sensationally from poor games so far in the postseason, and we like their chances of doing the same Tuesday.

Shark Bites
  • The Lakers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • Denver is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games.
  • The UNDER is 8-2 in Denver’s last 10 games.