Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets
NBA: Tuesday, December 3, Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado, 9:00 PM ET
The Los Angeles Lakers disappointed their fans on Sunday night, losing to the Dallas Mavericks 114-100 as 6.5-point home favorites. Their 10-game winning streak is over, and the Lakers now head to Pepsi Center in Denver to meet the Nuggets on Tuesday night. The Nuggets put an end to their six-game winning streak with a 100-97 overtime loss at the Sacramento Kings this past Saturday.
The Lakers meet the Nuggets for the first time this season. The Nuggets have won the previous two encounters and the last five meetings at Pepsi Center. Denver has dominated the Lakers in Colorado lately, winning 15 of the previous 20 matchups at home.
The Lakers’ terrible third-quarter performance led to a double-digit lossThe Lakers had a three-point lead over Dallas at halftime, but they put on a terrible performance in the third quarter, scoring just 17 points and allowing 35 in a return. Their defense was unrecognizable, while the Lakers hit only seven triples out of 27 attempts (25.9%). They allowed too many easy points which are a bad sign ahead of the tough matchup with the Nuggets. Anthony Davis posted a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds, while LeBron James added 25 points, nine boards, and eight dimes, but all their teammates underperformed besides Alex Caruso who had 10 points and four boards off the bench.
"They scored a few buckets, and we had a couple calls that went against us," said Lakers coach Frank Vogel, who got a technical foul along withKentavious Caldwell-Popefor arguing in the third. "I think our guys got consumed with that a little bit. But we didn't really have an offensive pop the whole quarter, coming out of halftime. We've been really sharp and really consistent, but during that stretch we weren't, and it cost us the game."
The Lakers are scoring 111.0 points per 100 possessions (8th in the league), surrendering 102.9 in a return (3rd). They’ve been playing an excellent defense since the start of the season. The Lakers are allowing their rivals to shoot 43.5% from the field (7th) and 33.6% from beyond the arc (5th). They have a few rim protectors in Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, and JaVale McGee, so the Lakers lead the NBA with 7.2 blocks per game. On the other side of the ball, LeBron James and Anthony Davis are driving the Lakers’ offense. James is tallying 25.7 points, 10.9 assists, and 7.2 rebounds per game, while Davis is adding 26.1 points and 9.3 boards a night.
The Nuggets blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in SacramentoThe Nuggets dominated the Kings for most of the game on Saturday. They had a 17-point lead at halftime and a 14-point lead with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter. And, they still lost the game. The Nuggets scored only 33 points in the second half, showing some terrible decisions on the offensive end, especially Nikola Jokic. Down the stretch, Jokic missed everything and finished the game with seven points on 3-for-13 shooting from the field. Gary Harris tallied a season-high 25 points, while Jamal Murray had 15 points and six assists.
"You have to get a shot off at the end of regulation and you have to get a shot off at the end of overtime, and we didn't get a shot off either time," Denver coach Mike Malone said. "Obviously I have to do a better job in terms of helping us with that late game execution."
Denver’s defensive rating of 102.0 points allowed per 100 possessions is the best in the league. The Nuggets allow their opponents to make only 42.8% of their field goals (3rd in the league) and 30.9% of their 3-pointers. However, the problems are on the other side of the ball. The Nuggets score 107.0 points per 100 possessions (20th) on 44.7% shooting from the field (21st) and 35.3% from downtown (18th). Jamal Murray leads the way for Denver, averaging 18.5 points and 4.9 assists per game. Nikola Jokic is posting 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 6.0 dimes per outing, but he’s shooting only 45.8% from the field and 23.2% from beyond the arc.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are: Los Angeles Lakers:
- 0-5 ATS in the last five road games against Denver
- 1-6 ATS in the last seven games against the Western Conference
- 3-9 ATS in the last 12 games following a loss of 10 or more points
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games at home
- 4-1 ATS in the last five contests playing on two days rest
- 13-5 ATS in the last 18 home games against a team with a winning road record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This clash is so tough to pick the winner. Both teams are playing in a good form and both rely on a tough defense. The Lakers have more offensive firepower than the Nuggets, for sure. However, the Nuggets can switch everything on the defensive end, while they love to play half-court basketball at a slow pace. Paul Millsap will be all over Anthony Davis, while the Nuggets’ backcourt and wings are quick enough to stay in front of LeBron James. Denver is always a tough rival to beat at Pepsi Center, and the Nuggets are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five home encounters with the Lakers. Give me the hosts and points.
Prediction: Denver Nuggets -1.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Neither of these two teams likes to play at a fast pace, especially the Nuggets who records 98.0 possessions per 48 minutes (27th in the league). I’ve mentioned that both teams lean on their defense, and we should see plenty of contested shots. The Lakers have the best field-goal percentage in the NBA, but they will have a tall task to prove it against the Nuggets. Although 10 of the last 13 head-to-head duels in Denver went in the over, the recent betting trends suggest the under. The Lakers’ previous five contests went in the under, as well as four of the Nuggets’ last five tilts overall.
Prediction: Under 210.5 points (-110)